Further costs directions issued in EA/2016/0054 (Brace v Information Commissioner and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority) following Upper Tribunal appeal  UKUT 305 (AAC)
By John Brace (Editor) and Leonora Brace (Co-Editor)
Due to the ongoing nature of this costs application in the First-tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber), comments are turned off.
Following the £500 costs order being overturned on appeal on two grounds by Upper Tribunal Judge Wikeley in October 2019, see  UKUT 305 (AAC) and it being sent back to the First-tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber) to be re-decided by a different First-tier Tribunal Judge, First-tier Tribunal Judge McMillan has issued further directions (dated 2nd June 2020) regarding MFRA’s costs application made in September 2016. The case reference number is EA/2016/0054 (although the order incorrectly states EA/2020/0054).
The petition started off just being myself and Leonora, but also attracted 7 online signatures (total 9, 7 online and 2 in paper form).
The petition called for a change to MFRA’s constitution and filming policy and went on the agenda of the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority meeting on the 16th of December 2014.
Due to a visit by royalty the time of that meeting was changed from 1.00 pm to 11.00 am. Although I was invited to speak at the meeting I wasn’t told formally of the change of time. So I wasn’t present as I didn’t know the meeting was starting 2 hours earlier than planned.
The councillors at that meeting resolved:
“a) The petition be noted;
b) The Authority’s awareness of the protocol and procedure developed following the introduction of the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014, and its publication on the website for anyone wishing to attend or record proceedings be noted; and,
c) The Clerk be instructed to include any amendments to The Constitution, including revision of what is acceptable to the Authority as a petition, as part of the annual review, and provide with a covering report to the Annual Meeting 11th June 2015.”
I might point out that (c) was agreed by councillors to prevent a petition of two signatures being on the agenda. It seems to have ignored the fact that their constitution requires 7 working days notice before the meeting, so in those 7 working days the number on a petition can change!
So in the end my petition is likely to have caused a constitutional change (2 and a half years later), just not to the bit of the constitution that myself and the petitioners requested changed!
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