Merseyside Police Volvo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The papers for this meeting can be found on the Merseyside Police Authority website apart from item 5 (Joint Report of the Chief Executive and Chief Constable) National Police Air Service: Collaboration Agreement (4 pages) (Page 1 of 4, Page 2 of 4, Page 3 of 4, Page 4 of 4, item 4G (minutes of the Grant Making Panel (Police Property Act Fund) of 23rd August 2012) (5 pages, Page 1 of 5), and 4H (minutes of the Transition Committee of the 23 August 2012) (3 pages). Copies were available at the meeting itself.
The former Mayor, Cllr Moira McLaughlin arrived in plenty of time at 1.39pm, as the meeting started a few minutes late at 2.04pm. Including the Police Authority Members (and staff), Merseyside Police officers (and staff) and public there were about forty people present.
The Chair, Cllr Weightman (Labour, Knowsley Council) welcomed Members of the Police Authority and public to the meeting. He asked for apologies.
Apologies were given for the only Conservative Councillor on the Police Authority, Cllr Blakeley (Wirral Council), Labour Cllr Frank Prendergast (Liverpool City Council), Mr Tom Kelly (Independent) and another Member of the Police Authority.
1. Declarations of Interest
The Chair, Cllr Weightman asked for any declarations of interest.
A Member of the Police Authority declared a personal and prejudicial interest in item 4G (minutes of the Grant Making Panel (Police Property Act Fund) of 23rd August 2012) as his interest was regards to one of the grants.
A Member of the Police Authority declared a personal interest in item 4F (minutes of the Estate Strategy Committee of the 16th August 2012) because it referred to the Joint Command and Control facility as Sefton Council may sell the Police Authority the land.
The Chair said these interests were noted, where there any others?
2. Minutes (Merseyside Police Authority, 21st June 2012)
The minutes of the meeting held on the 21st June 2012 were agreed as a correct record.
3. Chairman’s Announcements
The Chair said he had three things to raise. The first was that at the beginning of 2011, they had commissioned a training provider called The Learning Curve for management training. He said their aim was to build on existing skills that staff had, with an emphasis on organisational change and transferring to the new governance scheme. The Chair continued by saying that there had been the opportunity to do a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in Management at level seven, which was a diploma consisting of two management units with a choice of optional subjects which counted as points towards the award. Cllr Weightman said it was equal to a Masters Degree and three staff (who he named as Paul Caton, June Hackett and Mark Turley) had gained this qualification, he congratulated them for taking the time to increase their qualifications.
Professor Alf Zack-Williams (Independent) also offered them his congratulations and said it was the essence of a good employer to have training facilities. He gave the example of a female cleaner, who within five years of starting work had gained a BSc (Hons) within five years after starting on an access course. Prof Williams said they were leaving a good legacy for the successor [to the Merseyside Police Authority].
The second announcement the Chair wanted to make was to remember Cath Kane who had retired after thirty-six years service. He said that Cath had written to him and mentioned the close relationship, hard work and dedication of Members of the Merseyside Police Authority. He proposed that they invite her to the next meeting to give a small presentation and hoped Members would support and agree to this.
The third announcement the Chair made was about the proposed farewell dinner and the issue of internal correspondence. He said it had been decided closed, but one Member had put this on the internet and was claiming credit for stopping the dinner. The Chair felt that this was not true as it had been a decision of Members of the whole Authority, an all-Member Authority decision, not the decision of one individual Member, which he wanted recorded in the minutes.
He moved the meeting onto agenda item 4.
4. Minutes of Meetings
4A The minutes of the Transition Committee of the 5th July 2012 were moved and agreed.
4B The minutes of the Service Improvement Committee of the 19th July 2012 were moved and agreed.
4C With reference to the minutes of the Finance and Audit Committee minutes of the 26th July 2012, on page 18, agenda item 5, resolution (iii) he wanted them to write to the Local Authorities with regards to changes in Council Tax Benefit and asked them to accept this change? They did.
4D The minutes of the Community Partnership Committee of the 2nd August 2012 were moved and agreed.
4E The minutes of the Performance Scrutiny and Review Committee of the 9th August 2012 were moved and agreed.
A Member of the Police Authority having previously declared a prejudicial interest in item 4G left at this point.
4F The Chair asked for an amendment to the minutes of the Estate Strategy Committee meeting of the 5th July 2012 in respect of item 4. He wanted (a) to read rejects and (b) to read instructs the Chief Constable for a full and comprehensive report to the next meeting of this Committee. Another Member of the Police Authority said the amendment was in line with the mood of the meeting. The Chair asked if people were happy and the amendment and minutes were agreed.
4G The minutes of the Grant Making Panel meeting of the 23rd August 2012 were moved and agreed.
The Member of the Police Authority having declared a prejudicial interest who had left the room returned. The Chair thanked Julie for calling him back.
4H The Chair moved on to the minutes of the Transition Committee meeting of the 23rd August 2012 and drew people’s attention to item 13 which set up an Audit Committee and referred also to minute 12. The minutes were moved and agreed.
The Chair moved the meeting on to agenda item 5.
5. Collaboration Agreement for the National Police Air Service (Joint Report of the Chief Executive and Chief Constable)
Paul Johnson (Chief Executive/Treasurer) introduced the joint report (agenda item 5) of himself and the Chief Constable on the National Police Air Service: Collaboration Agreement. He said that back in October  they had had representations from Hampshire Constabulary regarding their willingness to enter a national collaboration, which they had agreed in principle.
A significant step had been to join the regional support air group which had led to savings. He wanted to clarify external perceptions with the public over the perceived loss of a helicopter. A major consideration had been the future of [the helicopter] G-XM11, as there was the expectation that they would donate it to the national pot, to be used as a general cover aircraft, but not as a free gift, but it would remain an asset on their balance sheet and be paid for. Paul Johnson had asked for a valuation and it had been valued at £800,000 to £900,000.
NPAS [National Police Air Service] had come back with a national agreement, but in June  they had signed an agreement with the Norwegian Government on behalf of the Oslo Police Department, which had removed the final obstacle to signing up to NPAS. Beryl Heath and Chris Mar were going through the final agreement and they were more or less there, with the original deadline being tomorrow (the 31st August 2012), officers were working on the detail and there was confirmation on the third page at item five of the financial position. The lease to Norway, was not threatened by the NPAS agreement and NPAS had been helpful at approving the Norway situation. He was asking the Police Authority to authorise him and the Chief Constable to sign up to the agreement, once some small minor issues had been sorted.
Paul Johnson said that compared to other areas in the country it had been a wise decision to enter into regional arrangements, which had been ironed out last year. The issue of the redundant helicopter had been sorted out and hopefully there would not be a repeat of things suffered last year [in Norway]. He asked for authority from the Merseyside Police Authority.
The Chair said that there was a lot more to this for the region, but they wouldn’t be bullied by the Rt Hon Nick Herbert MP and the Home Office, they had done a deal with the Norwegian Government and got money back that they wouldn’t have received in the first place because it was old. All of the North West had gained as it had been extended from eight to twelve years, so the North West had got a good deal as Merseyside [Police Authority] had led the way. He said it was a “fait accompli” as a [statutory] instrument by the government said they had to, they could take out a lengthy court case but it would just waste money. The recommendation in the report was agreed.
The Chair then moved to agenda item 6 (Chief Constable’s Annual Report).
Continue to Merseyside Police Authority (30th August 2012) Part 2 Item 6 – Chief Constable’s Annual Report, 2011-12, Item 7 – Merseyside Crimestoppers Annual Report 2011/12 Part 2