EXCLUSIVE: Leaked minutes of Merseyside Pension Fund’s Investment Monitoring Working Party

Pensions Committee (Merseyside Pension Fund) 16th November 2015 L to R Peter Wallach, Cllr Paul Doughty (Chair)

EXCLUSIVE: Leaked minutes of Merseyside Pension Fund’s Investment Monitoring Working Party

                                                              

Pensions Committee (Merseyside Pension Fund) 16th November 2015 L to R Peter Wallach, Cllr Paul Doughty (Chair)
Pensions Committee (Merseyside Pension Fund) 16th November 2015 L to R Peter Wallach, Cllr Paul Doughty (Chair)

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The public meeting of Wirral Council’s Pensions Committee held on the 16th November 2015

I will start this piece by declaring that I have a close family relative paid a pension by the Merseyside Pension Fund.

Monday night’s public meeting of Wirral Council’s Pensions Committee (you can view the video above) chucked out the public for two agenda items (issues about the tender exercise for CB Richard Ellis Capital Advisers Ltd (CBRE) and the minutes of the Investment Monitoring Working Party meeting of the 17th September 2015 and the 8th October 2015.

Originally one of the governance policies agreed by councillors that run the Merseyside Pension Fund stated that minutes of the Investment Monitoring Working Party and Governance Working Party should be published. I did query a while back why they weren’t, which led to the situation now where the minutes are split on the agenda and the public gets to see which councillors turned up, who sent their apologies and what the declarations of interest are.

However the rest of the minutes of those meetings (despite it being councillors that sit on these committees), councillors decide to keep the rest of the minutes a secret (on the advice of Wirral Council officers).

As it states on Wirral Council’s website the law states “Information is exempt to the extent that, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information” and the reason given on Monday evening was “Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)”.

Strictly speaking politicians are supposed to carry out their own public interest test based on the above and I suppose I should kick up more of a fuss at this point of the meeting if they’re about to chuck us out for no reason.

The Merseyside Pension Fund is a large pension fund with billions of pounds invested. Of course as a member of the press I’m going to take a view that i