Incredible: Wirral Council shared 55,640 addresses of residents who live on their own with Merseyside Fire Service!

Incredible: Wirral Council shared 55,640 addresses of residents who live on their own with Merseyside Fire Service!

Incredible: Wirral Council shared 55,640 addresses of residents who live on their own with Merseyside Fire Service!


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Paul Murphy of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service explains how Wirral Council told Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service where all the people claiming a single person council tax discount live 19th March 2015
Paul Murphy of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service explains how Wirral Council told Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service where all the people claiming a single person council tax discount live 19th March 2015

At yesterday’s meeting of Merseyside’s Fire and Rescue Authority’s Performance and Scrutiny Committee Paul Murphy (the fire service manager for the Wirral district) said something surprising (his interesting talk starts at 3 minutes 22 seconds into the video of the meeting above).

31 minutes and 6 seconds into the meeting, in answer to a question from a councillor he says, “What we did with the last Chief Exec is, that was the dilemma I was sadly in Councillor Stapleton, so the give away to me was to deliver that up. So we went to Wirral Borough Council and said “Would you do us a favour? Would you share your single person council tax, who are those people on that list?” and Wirral shared that with us.

So straight away it went from 320,000, it shrunk it down, I think it was around I can’t remember the exact numbers but it went from a global figure to a manageable figure and that goes on, on the fire stations they’ll have a Goldmine system of status reports. So if it’s for instance Paul Murphy, if I’m 65, I live alone, I’m a known smoker, I’ve been in hospital, I will build up a criteria, the vulnerable person index and then what the fire crews will do is they will prioritise those people especially if they haven’t had a visit.”

Just to summarise, a person lives on their own so quite rightly gets 25% off their Council Tax. Unbeknownst to them, Wirral Council shares this information with Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, so a fire engine and crew comes round offering them a free smoke alarm?

Does anyone other than me find this sharing of council tax data for other purposes worrying? There is a poll below so you can give your opinion on this.

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Author: John Brace

New media journalist from Birkenhead, England who writes about Wirral Council. Published and promoted by John Brace, 134 Boundary Road, Bidston, CH43 7PH. Printed by UK Webhosting Ltd t/a Tsohost, 113-114 Buckingham Avenue, Slough, Berkshire, England, SL1 4PF.

17 thoughts on “Incredible: Wirral Council shared 55,640 addresses of residents who live on their own with Merseyside Fire Service!”

  1. Hi John if the council were sharing with anybody else other than the fire authority I would object, however there are lots of households with only one resident who need protection from fire & in my case several years ago one bright Sunday morning a fire engine appeared outside my home & four firemen asked was there anybody in the house over 6o too which I replied yes & because of the nature & size of the house the fitted 5 smoke alarms over the three floors. If one persons life is saved by Wirral council passing this information onto the fire authority then so be it.
    As you know I normally don’t agree with what the council does but on this occasion I have no objection, so there is a first.

    1. Well it’s probably a rather technical point, but they’re sharing it with Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service not Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority (which are two different public bodies).

      I’m all for home fire safety checks (if requested). I just think people who tell Wirral Council they live on their own (for council tax purposes) might be surprised to see a fire engine turn up and offer a home fire safety check (assuming that the person isn’t out when they call).

      It’s something I’m sure different people can reasonably take a different viewpoint on. From the other things Paul Murphy said during his talk this data sharing sounds quite recent so it sounds like the time you’re referring to was before the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service got this address data from Wirral Council.

  2. G’day John and John

    They just do as they want.

    Is this why that building fell down?

    Did that chief exec always want to be a fireman with a big red helmet?



  3. G’day John

    Talking of data sharing reminds me of Wirral “Funny” Bizz they were experts at this.

    Not in a good way.

    You’ve heard it all before….



  4. Just a thought, how much does it cost for the Fire service to come round and visit, as they don’t pop round in a little red car/van its the tender and who’s paying for the free smoke alarm?

    1. I’ve no idea of the cost as that wasn’t mentioned during the meeting. The home fire safety checks are still done by the fire service and not outsourced from what I can gather. I know at one stage there was talk of charging for smoke alarms (but as far as I know they’re still free).

      From what I can gather from what was said during the meeting, the home fire safety checks were being done by fire crews when they’re not called out to a fire.

      The free smoke alarms come from taxes (Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service are funded through council tax and a grant from central government).

  5. Mr Brace, I can see the points your trying to make in respect of a number of things “Implied Trust ” in those people who are there to protect us from harm. Sharing of Data can be an “inflammatory Subject” (no pun intended). It would be wrong to say that the Fire Service should be given the Information in order to prioritize on the grounds of vulnerable or single people, that in fact would be “Discrimination in Reverse” The Fire Service is there in order to give Equal Treatment to all and answer all calls as if it were one of their own family at Risk.
    I suppose the angle on this story would be and I am sorry if I am wrong, the Fire Officers when they do their Survey’s may Share Data Back. The picture does not do Mr Murphy justice

    1. The picture of Paul Murphy is just during his talk.

      However, my point isn’t to do with the fire service responding to emergency calls. The point is about how they target the fire prevention work.

      Their statistics state that elderly people living on their own are more likely to die in a fire than other people. So they are trying to target their fire prevention work at this group.

      However yes, the information they have on who lives on their own would also be shared with fire crews on an emergency call.

  6. G’day John

    It’s off pay week this week mate so I have just finished my £2 bottle of cider out of my £70 per week dole.

    The shame has long eroded as I think that “The Football Shirt” probably took home £2,300 this week.

    The prat that lied to me when I blew the whistle 3 years 8 months and 16 days ago and still appears to say that Wirral “Funny” Bizz did nothing wrong.

    John I would so much rather be me than that lying barstard.



    No wonder the man looks like he does.

    I bet he still believes in Stella.

    I can’t afford Stella.

  7. G’day John

    Lovely day.

    Finally he has been recognised.

    A Dunny Chain Wearer next year but as he is the elected member that just gives and gives and gives recognition this year.

    A mini me of “The Purple Headed People Eater”.

    From their local propaganda sheet.

    New Brighton businesses short listed for tourism awards

    Would you actually call a community centre that has prepared at £3,000+ a pop one, two or was it three business plans despite only few if any customers a business.

    By the way the plans were a croc of shit prepared by Wirral “Funny” Bizz.

    “Highbrow” and I went into the community centre when we didn’t want anyone to hear us, total privacy and with the NOKIA to take photos of the clientele. Ended up we could only take selfies.



    Did “Highbrow” ever tell you he was accosted on the train by New Brighton’s biggest member?

  8. Bloody Multi Agency approach to solving any social problem brings them altogether once every bloody rotten lunar month where they all sit around the table, discuss this, that and the other, they all sign a protocol agreement that allows the grand sharing of the rate payers information and off they bloody go, hoovering up vast snippets of personal information that they all use to protect us all from bloody harm.
    They’re all bloody at it. The Council, the Police, the Council, the NHS and all the other agents who ever come into contact with some fool who happens to have sinned, may sin, have a horrid physical and mental ailment, smoke, drink, watch The Wirral Housewives gyrating in a sultry fashion on their webcam up in the bloody loft or some poor soul who simply lives alone and is different to the rest of us. They’re all it. Sharing our information and pretending to themselves its all being done for the benefit of us their fellow humankind.
    I bloody hate it! If for some odd reason I decide to spark up in bed as I slowly masturbate to the execution of Saddam Hussein on Youtube, I pour vast amounts of ale down and into my fat face and I accidentally set fire to myself, my duvet and the fixtures and fittings adorning the walls of my hovel of a home, the last thing I want to hear is some shiney bloody happy clappy, Officer from the Firebrigade outside my window, stood upon his bloody ladder howling, ‘open the window Mr Fortyseven so that we can save you’. Much rather, if they were that keen to extinguish the blaze and allow me to continue to live on my pointless life that’s been unblemished by any form of achievement, I’d rather they smash their way in, drag me away from my computer screen, throw me over their shoulder and politely ask as we go down the ladder, ‘who the bloody hell are you fatso’.
    It’s all a public service racket dressed up in a way that leaves it hard to bloody object to their bloody kindness and love for us the bloody service users!
    As far as I’m concerned they can all get stuffed!

    1. Bobby, I like your Table Top Approach to matters, straight forward no hairs or graces!!!!!!!

  9. Hello Steve, Yes, well having a very limited vocabulary, being highly dependant upon many vices and never ever managing to become a good scholar of The bloody Latin, I’m cursed with this odd writing style that does little to enhance the reputation of all those who once failed their Eleven Plus Examination,were quickly placed at rock bloody bottom of the social pile and through hard work and determined endeavour managed to remain there for the rest of their lives.
    My warmest regards to you Steve.

    1. G’day Bobby

      You brighten up my days immensely.

      Beware of Reprahnehpets he is from WIRRAL and believes in “The Shysters” LAW. It is exactly what it says on the can “The Shysters” LAW that they operate under.

      I wonder with your wonderful down to earth open, honest and transparent writing and beliefs.

      “Highbrows” genius and brilliant memory for every crime Wirral “Funny” Bizz ever committed plus having the database they never seem to be able to find when an auditor asks just like the unsigned contracts with Wirral “Funny” Bizz.

      Me just insulting them because they lied and continue to lie and insult me and “Highbrow” at enormous cost to the Wirral taxpayer.

      What in there opinion would be the order of our popularity amongst them?

      I doubt they would let the women vote they don’t seem to have any say in anything. The Kitchen Cabinet would all vote the same way because they are as thick as poo.

      Who would they like least??????



      Luv your work Bobby write again soon. X

  10. John one imagines that those identified as single may not have ticked a box claiming privacy and the non-sharing of their data. I cannot recall but is there not an option on ratepayer forms rather like on any other correspondence?

    If persons have elected for privacy then indeed it would be the thin end of the wedge to share their information even for their own safety. It really is important to undersytand that the arbiters of what is good for ourselves is not any form of government local or otherwise

    1. I’ve no idea as I’m not the one here that is liable for the council tax where I live.

      I do know they’ve also passed all the details of those who claim the single person discount to a firm called Capacity Grid (to identify falsely claimed single person discount claims).

      That however is purely done for the purposes of administering council tax and not reusing the information for another purpose.

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