Posted by: John Brace | 16th April 2020

Merseyside Police and Crime Panel struggle to recruit required extra Co-Opted Member nearly 2 years after resignation

Merseyside Police and Crime Panel struggle to recruit required extra Co-Opted Member nearly 2 years after resignation

                                                   

By John Brace (Editor)
and
Leonora Brace (Co-Editor)

Councillor Paul Lynch (Chair, Merseyside Police and Crime Panel) 9th April 2020 from a still of a video filmed by Knowsley Council

Councillor Paul Lynch (Chair, Merseyside Police and Crime Panel) 9th April 2020 from a still of a video filmed by Knowsley Council

On Monday I published a piece headlined Phil Davies faced grilling by Merseyside Police and Crime Panel as preferred candidate for Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner post about the meeting last week of the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel. Since then the Liverpool Echo reports that Phil Davies has withdrawn his application.

However in that piece published on Monday, I also mentioned that I was not sure (at that point) why there was only one independent person on the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel now when there are supposed to be two.

There used to be two independent people, but in August 2018 one of the previous two, Kate Robinson (presumably not the Electoral Services Manager at Wirral Council of the same name) resigned.

A recruitment process to fill the vacancy started in February 2019, but by July 2019 there had only been three applicants (all from the Sefton area where it had been mentioned in a local newspaper). By March 2020 there had been nine applicants.

The Merseyside Police and Crime Panel meeting scheduled for the 19th March 2020 (cancelled because of the pandemic) was going to be asked to decide that the existing independent member Keith Pickup carry on for a second term of four years, but as nine people had by then applied (recruitment closed on the 2nd March 2020) that a Selection Panel be set up to shortlist the candidates in March 2020 for the second Co-Opted Member, with interviews in April 2020 with a recommendation to the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel in July 2020. It is to also be noted that a Selection Panel had already been set up in July 2019 of the Chair, Vice-Chair, Cllr Shaw and possibly also Cllr Sweeney.

Although there can be more than two co-opted members of a police and crime panel, the Minister has to agree to this first and the extra co-opted members can’t make the total number of the panel more than twenty (which isn’t an issue on Merseyside where there are in total twelve positions (ten councillors, two co-opted) on the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel).

The original story on Knowsley Council’s website about recruitment expected a decision by July 2019, with details such an application form, background information, eligibility criteria, Merseyside Police and Crime Panel arrangements, person specification and roles and responsibilities still available to view on Knowsley Council’s website.

One of those documents explain that it is a one day a month job. Although expenses (such as travelling) are reimbursed it is unpaid. Similar to the recruitment process for magistrates, it asks a question on the application form about involvement in local community activities.

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Responses

  1. So the liar Davies got found out.

    I say “liar” because I have irrefutable evidence that Councillor Philip Davies, as Wirral Council leader, lied about a sum of approximately £200,000 which went missing when a large number of local businesses in receipt of BIG Fund grant monies went under.

    Davies said only ONE went under. The true figure was closer to a dozen. He KNEW this. Graham Burgess, the then council chief executive KNEW this. Kevin Adderley, the director concerned KNEW this.

    I’ve been getting a lot of hits on my blog from unusual sources, i.e. not the usual crowd of readers / followers.

    I suspect people may have been doing the relevant research and educating themselves on what this applicant for the job has been involved in the past.

    If you go to this tweet, all the links have been lined up in one place for convenience. What you will read might shock you.

    What STILL shocks me is the brazen, bulldozing, don’t give a damn attitude on display by some of these crooks.

    I’m so relieved that for the moment the Merseyside public have been spared and that this clear and present danger to their collective wellbeing has been removed.

    P H E W !!

    Here is your link: https://twitter.com/Wirral_Innit/status/1249691634880708609?s=20

  2. Is my commenting banned here now, John?

    Or maybe “moderated out” is the correct term?

    Is it no longer possible to question the proven, historical terminological inexactitudes – linked to the loss of a six-figure sum in public money – of a former Wirral Councillor, here on an allegedly independent site?

    • Hi Paul,

      Thanks for your comment – your previous one wasn’t banned, or moderated out, but as it had a link in it has to be manually moderated (which it was 6 hours later) as ok (as a lot of the spam comments have links in)!

      Hope that explains it!

  3. Last year it was reported that wirral was to spend £8 million pounds resurfacing and fixing pot holes on Wirral roads, this was in a letter when the Council tax came though, a few months later it was down to £6 million so i want to know where the other two million went, plus where did the £6 million the government gave each Council to repair the roads go? That’s £8 million just vanished into thin air

    • Hi,

      Thanks for your comment keef666.

      As far as I know some small amount of spend on highways didn’t happen in the 2018-19 financial year because of the following two decisions due to the pandemic (it’s possible there were other decisions not listed below):-

      25th March 2020 – inspection and monitoring of non-essential Street Works activities scaled back.

      24th March 2020 – non-critical road markings service in highways ceased.

      Sometimes spend on highways projects is delayed from one financial year to the next due to weather or work taking longer than expected.

      From what I remember the extra money for potholes is ring-fenced just for that purpose, with a report having to be published I think by September as to which potholes on the Wirral were fixed with the money. I presume if the money is unspent by a certain point then it has to be handed back to the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

      Some of the money for highways (including the pothole money) comes in grants to Wirral Council from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (who in turn get a regional allocation for the Liverpool City Region’s roads from national government).

      So Wirral Council might just be spending the money and have to adhere to the LCRCA grant conditions.

      So yes, my educated guess is some work was stopped because of the coronavirus pandemic and some sometimes gets delayed for various reasons.

      Maybe somebody who knows more than me can comment?

      Cllr Nathalie Nicholas is the Lead Member for the Tunnels, Highways and Key Route Network on the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and her contact details can be found at that link.

      There’ll be a Cabinet Member on Wirral Council with responsibility for highways, but as it’s more a finance question, then the contact details for the Wirral Council Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources Cllr Janette Williamson can be found here.

  4. I am so happy good riddance to bad rubbish cllr Phil Davies for years wrecked BIRKENHEAD & TRANMERE ALONG WITH HIS OTHER LABOUR CLLRS CLLR JEAN STAPLETON & CLLR BRIAN KENNY we booted him out of office & he sneaked into st james /birchwood ward BY LYING AGAIN TO RESIDENTS THAT DONT KNOW WHAT A SELF PRESAVASIONIST SLIME BALL HE IS ROLL ON THE NEXT ELECTION. thank you mr j brace for your hard work.

    • Thanks for your comment and compliment.

      I’m a resident in Bidston & St James ward (which covers Beechwood) but Birkenhead and Tranmere ward is the next ward to the east (so I’m aware of the politics of what’s happened there in recent elections of a councillor and the strong and passionately held feelings with regards to both the Green Party and the Labour Party).

      Under normal circumstances Labour Cllr Jean Stapleton’s 4 year term of office as councillor in Birkenhead and Tranmere ward would end in a couple of weeks (at some point in May 2020) and we would know by now whether she was standing as the Labour candidate in the May 2020 election of a councillor or not (when people who live in Birkenhead and Tranmere would have got to vote on who their councillor would be for the next 4 years).

      Instead due to the coronavirus pandemic her term of office has been extended by a year to May 2021 (5 years) and people of Birkenhead and Tranmere won’t have a vote as to who their councillor is until next year. The May 2020 councillor elections have been cancelled.

      A report and letter of the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel into Phil Davies being the preferred candidate for the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner will I think be published tomorrow (publication has been delayed by two bank holidays since the meeting). Hopefully that will shed some light on why he decided to withdraw his application.


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