Wirral Council defy law (for the 4th time) to ban filming at public meeting to discuss alcohol

Wirral Council defy law (for the 4th time) to ban filming at public meeting to discuss alcohol

Wirral Council defy law (for the 4th time) to ban filming at public meeting to discuss alcohol

                                                 

1 Peter 2:15
For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people
Councillor Bill Davies, Left (Chair, Licensing Act 2003 Committee (Wirral Council)) votes against a filming ban of a public meeting 26th October 2016
Councillor Bill Davies, Left (Chair, Licensing Act 2003 Committee (Wirral Council)) votes against a filming ban of a public meeting 26th October 2016

Over two years ago, the law was changed and Wirral Council was criticised in a press release for trying to stop filming of its public meetings.

Last night Wirral Council’s Licensing Act 2003 Committee met.

Wirral Council started the Wirral Alcohol Inquiry in September 2015 and awarded the tender for this to Shared Future (a Community Interest Company). The question that they were asked to answer was, “What can we all do to make it easier for people to have a healthier relationship with alcohol?”.

The report that came out of talking with twenty Wirral residents made a series of recommendations, the most important one was seen as “Limit the number of licensed premises and make it easier for the public to object to licensing applications. Educate the public that you can have a say on local licensing. Explore how we can make it easier for the public to have their say on local licensing.”

Three of the twenty residents were present at last night’s meeting. However despite receiving legal advice to allow filming to go ahead, despite the law being changed over two years ago, councillors decided to adjourn the whole meeting, ironically to make is harder for the public to have their say on local licensing.

This marks the 4th time since the legislation was changed this has happened and here’s just a brief look back at when Wirral Council has tried this before since the legislation change.

The day democracy and freedom of the press died at Wirral Council: 28th October 2014

Councillors decided to ban filming of the Youth and Play Service Advisory Committee, to avoid future problems the Committee stopped meeting in public and now Wirral Council is subject to government intervention for the way it runs the Children and Young Peoples’ Department.

Labour councillor bans filming at public meeting to decide whether to licence a taxi that’s over 10 years old

There’s a transcript of what happened, but essentially a councillor wanted to ban filming of a public meeting discussing whether to licence a taxi.

Why has Wirral Council sunk deeper into the quagmire of poor corporate governance surrounding a complaint about Cllr Steve Foulkes?

At the Standards Panel meeting involving a complaint about Cllr Foulkes, the public were prevented from both attending and filming.

So yes, in scenes that remind me of the film Groundhog Day, watch below as councillors would rather adjourn the whole meeting, than have some openness and transparency.

Councillors were repeatedly advised by a solicitor advising the Licensing Act 2003 Committee to allow filming, but some chose to ignore him.

The vote was as follows.

For a filming ban (that they have no power to impose and is in my view unlawful) (7)
Cllr David Burgess-Joyce (Conservative)
Cllr Ron Abbey (Labour)
Cllr Chris Meaden (Labour)
Cllr Paul Stuart (Labour)
Cllr Denise Roberts (Labour)
Cllr George Davies (Labour)
Cllr Michael Sullivan (proposer, Labour))

Against a filming ban (2)
Cllr Bill Davies (Chair, Labour))
Cllr Dave Mitchell (Liberal Democrat)

You can watch below for what happened at the meeting itself. The 5 minute adjournment lasted twenty-six minutes.

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Licensing Act 2003 Committee (Wirral Council) 26th October 2016 Part 1 of 2

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Licensing Act 2003 Committee (Wirral Council) 26th October 2016 Part 2 of 2

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Why am I angry at Wirral Council for allegedly breaking more laws to cover up a 3 year investigation and subsequent decision by three councillors as to why Councillor Steve Foulkes broke the Code of Conduct and should apologise for leaking information about Councillor Jeff Green to the press?

Why am I angry at Wirral Council for allegedly breaking more laws to cover up a 3 year investigation and subsequent decision by three councillors as to why Councillor Steve Foulkes broke the Code of Conduct and should apologise for leaking information about Councillor Jeff Green to the press?

Why am I angry at Wirral Council for allegedly breaking more laws to cover up a 3 year investigation and subsequent decision by three councillors as to why Councillor Steve Foulkes broke the Code of Conduct and should apologise for leaking information about Councillor Jeff Green to the press?

                                        

Councillor Steve Foulkes (Labour) (right) speaking at a recent meeting of the Birkenhead Constituency Committee (28th July 2016) while Councillor Pat Cleary (Green) (left) listens
Councillor Steve Foulkes (Labour) (right) speaking at a recent meeting of the Birkenhead Constituency Committee (28th July 2016) while Councillor Pat Cleary (Green) (left) listens

17/8/16 Amended to correct name of Phil Goodman to Peter Goodman.

Firstly, I’m cross with Wirral Council.

What is it this time you may wonder?

Well I have a long list of grievances, but not being a Wirral Council employee no formal route (ok I could bring some of these up with my trade union) to take these to a grievance hearing, nor the time or inclination at this stage to get the judiciary involved.

I’m cross at being denied (along with my wife) to be present at what I perceive to be (in part) to be a public meeting of the Standards Panel on the 28th June 2016 in Committee Room 2 at Wallasey Town Hall, Brighton Street, Seacombe, CH44 8ED starting at 6.00pm.

I’m cross at being shouted at by junior public facing employees of Wirral Council who I will gladly name here from what I remember as Shirley Hudspeth (Legal and Member Services) and Peter Goodman (whatever the facilities management side of Wirral Council is called as frankly I’ve lost track of restructures? Is it infrastructure, asset management something like that?) with their view that it was a private meeting, but I’m not cross at them in a major way because I’m more cross at what I presume are their senior manager/s or senior manager/s from another department at Wirral Council who told both of them to say this to me (even though it isn’t true) as it seems a senior manager/s at Wirral Council would stoop that low as to instruct junior employees to do what they (senior manager/s) should have the guts to do face to face themselves.

I’m cross at Wirral Council for its website not working as I write this at democracy.wirral.gov.uk so I can’t include links or refer to the details. But yeah, whoever’s job it is to fix it may be on holiday.

I’m cross at a senior manager (Joe Blott) and his external legal adviser (whose name I can’t recall without checking Wirral Council’s website that isn’t working). Yes the external legal advisor is the guy in this photo as I wasn’t allowed to be at or film him at the public bit of the Standards Panel meeting (and just as an aside this law allows me to film such public meetings even if I’m not physically in the room, which I suppose next time if I’m not allowed actually in the room for a public meeting I’ll have to do the filming either through the meeting room door or from the car park outside!)

However in Joe Blott’s defence I don’t think he understood why the legal advice he got was flawed and had the external legal advisor pointed out why it was flawed he’d have had to have criticised his client (Wirral Council) which is a big no-no if he ever wants further work from Wirral Council in the future.

I’m not cross with Surjit Tour who seems to have a conflict of interest. But if he does have one, Joe Blott is supposed to deal with it!!!

I am cross with the fact that 5 clear working days notice of the date, time, agenda and reports (if not recommended to be heard in closed session) for the Standards Panel meeting on the 28th June 2016 was not given by the 20th June 2016, but instead yesterday the 3rd of August 2016.

I’m cross that a complaint about a councillor (Cllr Steve Foulkes) as to what happened in July 2013 has taken Wirral Council around three years to resolve.

I’m cross that Patricia Thynne in her report refers to myself as having filmed a Youtube video referred to when I didn’t film it and it was indeed someone else! I’m also cross with myself that relying on Patricia Thynne’s report I then left a comment on the Wirral Leaks blog only to be embarrassed into being told it is a mistake in her report.

I’ve recently learned that Cllr Gilchrist was the Chair of the Standards Panel, I’m cross that I wasn’t allowed to go to the public bit of the Standards Panel meeting where this was decided on the 28th June 2016 to find this out and had to wait around a month to know whether it was Cllr Chris Blakeley or Cllr Phil Gilchrist.

I’m cross that in messing up what’s detailed above Wirral Council is relying on a legal power that was repealed years ago.

I’m cross that for reasons of internal capacity here I didn’t take things further over what happened to us at the meeting on the 28th June 2016 whether by letter or subsequent legal action against Wirral Council.

However, moving to the complaint itself, yes I was there in the public gallery in July 2013 in the adjournment while it happened. Yes Cllr Steve Foulkes came in and spoke with Liam Murphy (referred to as Person C). Yes, I was too far away (at the other end of the public gallery to hear what they were saying). Yes I remember Mr Nigel Hobro coming in to the public gallery at this point and wanting to speak with Liam Murphy but getting the brush off.

Yes, my opinion (not that it matters really) is that I think it is fair that Cllr Foulkes should apologise.

However, isn’t it ironic that as Cllr Foulkes previously made a complaint about Cllr Chris Blakeley talking to the Liverpool Echo about whether Cllr Foulkes should be made Mayor (a complaint that Cllr Chris Blakeley was cleared of as you can read about here) that Cllr Chris Blakeley should then be on the Standards Panel to decide about a complaint about Cllr Foulkes leaking information to a Liverpool Echo journalist? Or is that just karma?

Yes Person C in the report is Liam Murphy. Yes I feel sorry for him, yes it is a breach of journalistic ethics to reveal the source of information, but by the sounds of it he (Liam Murphy) was being used by Cllr Foulkes anyway for political gain.

As to the payoff to Emma Degg, her initial silence (prompted in part it seems by the payment of public money), followed by what I presume was a guilty conscience, well at least she finally did the right thing!

As to the allegation that witnesses “colluded” to bring down Cllr Foulkes, well Patricia Thynne feels this is not credible. I will comment however that unless you are in disguise, nobody knows what you look like or in an echo chamber, it’s frankly foolish in the extreme to bring up anything confidential (whether in conversation or by passing it to them) with a journalist when you have people watching you do it, in a public place, in a public building, in the adjournment to a high-profile public meeting.

However Cllr Foulkes’ explanation is he was under a lot of pressure.

Tip for people reading this, if you want in the future to leak something to me, there’s the post (probably the most secure method), email or telephone (if you want the intelligence agencies to read/listen to it in transit) or other ways of sending it to me online.

Yes you can talk to me or hand me things in person, but there are always people watching!

I did ask Cllr Steve Foulkes in person at the end of the Birkenhead Constituency Committee meeting on the evening of Thursday 28th July 2016 to comment on the complaint. He refused to comment directly on the matter (I presume following Mr. Tour’s advice to councillors to keep their mouth shut) and referred me to Wirral Council instead.

So yes, I’m still cross and Wirral Council is finally well dealing with what should’ve been done properly the first time!!!

By first time, I don’t just mean the original complaint (that this morphed into), but what happened at the Standards Panel meeting too.

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Banned video on Lyndale School restored to Youtube; Wirral Council still prevents filming at 2 public meetings

Banned video on Lyndale School restored to Youtube; Wirral Council still prevents filming at 2 public meetings

Banned video on Lyndale School restored to Youtube; Wirral Council still prevents filming at 2 public meetings

                                                

Councillor Tony Smith at the Special Cabinet Meeting of 4th September 2014 to discuss Lyndale School L to R Cllr Stuart Whittingham, Cllr Tony Smith, Cllr Bernie Mooney, Lyndzay Roberts
Councillor Tony Smith at the Special Cabinet Meeting of 4th September 2014 to discuss Lyndale School L to R Cllr Stuart Whittingham, Cllr Tony Smith, Cllr Bernie Mooney, Lyndzay Roberts that Sony prevented being watch on Youtube until now.

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Ed – Updated 11:58 14/11/2014 to include additional information.

Well the above Youtube video of the Cabinet meeting of the 4th September 2014 (previously blocked by Youtube in Germany and unavailable for anyone to view for the last fortnight because of Sony) can now be viewed.

Sony Music Entertainment haven’t sued me, so the video has to go back. My arcane knowledge of the counter notification provision to a DMCA takedown notice in the American Digital Millenium Copyright Act paid off.

The issue was to do with the use of the music track “We bought a Zoo” [2011] by Icelandic musician Jónsi.

It means the 15 minute restriction on videos, restrictions on live broadcasts is no lifted on the main Youtube channel I use. Also the account is returned to good standing.

However in future at a public meeting, even though I can justify fair use on the grounds of news reporting, to prevent the making of false allegations of copyright infringement and this happening again, I have decided not to film videos shown during public meetings (obviously there may be exceptions to this general rule).

With regards to the Lyndale School video, the fact that Jónsi is blind adds another interesting element to the Lyndale story.

It’s not however just Sony Music Entertainment that have tried to prevent footage of Wirral Council’s public meetings being shown. Wirral Council tried it at a call in earlier this year in February (about Lyndale).

Also at a recent meeting of the Youth and Play Service Advisory Committee on the 28th October and the Youth Parliament on 11th November Wirral Council were adamant that for child protection reasons these public meetings couldn’t be filmed.

This was because at the meeting on the 28th there was a 16-year-old present and at the meeting on the 11th November, there were 11-18 year olds present in addition to councillors.

Strangely enough on that very topic the Youth Parliament, the BBC are filming (and showing on BBC Parliament today) from 11.10am-12.40pm and 1.40pm onwards the Youth Parliament debating in the House of Commons.

In fact here is a quote from one UK Youth Parliament member Ciara Brodie from Liverpool (who will be leading a debate):

“Friday 14th November will be an incredible day, not only for those sitting in the chamber, but for young people across the country. This is the day when hundreds of Members of Youth Parliament will take to the green benches of the House of Commons and debate on the issues that are most important to us. These five issues have been decided by a nationwide ballot taken part in by over 865,000 11-18 year olds. This day will be symbolic, because young people often feel excluded from politics, and like their voices are neither acknowledged nor represented in Parliament. This sitting is an incredible opportunity to engage young people from across the UK in political debate, just months before a General Election. With educational reform a hot topic and 16 and 17 year olds voting in the Scottish Referendum, there has never been a more important time to listen to young people. It is one thing to be given a voice but hopefully, as a result of this debate, young people will also be listened to. This is our chance to make our mark in the heart of Westminster.”

Here is what a Youth Parliament document states about the filming today:

Television coverage

The debates will all be filmed. BBC Parliament will be broadcasting the debates live with a five minute time delay.
The debates will also be streamed “live” with a time delay directly to the newsrooms of the BBC, Sky, etc – so that broadcasters may use the footage that day if they want to.

It is very important that during the debates MYPs don’t say anything that is factually incorrect (i.e. slanderous), don’t swear and are careful not to damage the reputation of Parliament (e.g. call MPs liars!). We will be taking legal advice on anything that could be considered slanderous and any such statements will have to be removed.
The microphones and cameras will be on in the Chamber at all times.”

Coverage of the morning session will be broadcast on the BBC Parliament channel today (14th November 2014) starting at 8.20pm.
Coverage of the afternoon session will be broadcast on the BBC Parliament channel today (14th November 2014) starting at 9.50pm.

Coverage of the morning session will be available on BBC Iplayer at this link (1h30m).
Coverage of the afternoon session will be available on BBC Iplayer at this link (2h10m) .

That’s a total of 3h40m of footage.

The problem however is despite the House of Commons changing the law at Wirral Council, the officer/councillor requests to ban filming the public meeting of Wirral Council of the Youth Parliament earlier this week, especially as the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014 meant that from August 6th 2014 Wirral Council could no longer ban any filming at its public meetings, just looks somewhat slightly silly now, old-fashioned, possibly unlawful when the BBC are filming the Youth Parliament in the House of Commons at a public meeting to a much wider audience?

Maybe Wirral Council’s child protection policy will prevent its UK Youth Parliament members (aged between 11-18) actually being involved at all in London at the House of Commons today (which if it does that’s a shame). Mind you under their “child protection policy” the public & press have been told in the past aren’t even allowed to know even the names of who from Wirral represents the views of young people on the Youth Parliament!

In Wirral of course, with full approval from Wirral Council’s Cabinet, children’s voices are not to be heard outside of meeting rooms at public meetings on political issues. The reason given is because “they’re children” and of course Wirral isn’t known to as the “insular peninsula” for no reason. It’s however really part of a wider cultural attitude against openness and transparency and of trying to control the press.

Wirral will probably also say its for safeguarding reasons, however I would say the effect of broadcasting on national TV, online and through other broadcasters is likely to reach a much wider audience than probably the fifty or sixty views there would have been of the Youth Parliament meeting at Wirral Council.

What have Wirral Council actually got to hide when it comes to teenagers? Do they just so ever conveniently forget at time they get £millions of public money to spend on their education?

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Youtube censors 4th September Wirral Council Cabinet video about Lyndale School closure consultation

Youtube censors 4th September Wirral Council Cabinet video about Lyndale School closure consultation

Youtube censors 4th September Wirral Council Cabinet video about Lyndale School closure consultation

Councillor Tony Smith (Cabinet Member for Children and Family Services) at the Special Cabinet Meeting of 4th September 2014 to discuss Lyndale School L to R Cllr Stuart Whittingham, Cllr Tony Smith, Cllr Bernie Mooney and Lyndzay Roberts
Councillor Tony Smith (Cabinet Member for Children and Family Services) at the Special Cabinet Meeting of 4th September 2014 (the public meeting Sony Music Entertainment won’t allow you to watch the first part of) to discuss Lyndale School L to R Cllr Stuart Whittingham, Cllr Tony Smith (Cabinet Member for Children and Family Services), Cllr Bernie Mooney and Lyndzay Roberts

Interest declarations: The author of this piece filmed the Cabinet meeting of 4th September 2014 referred to in this piece. The author of this piece works for an organisation that receives royalties from Youtube/Google for videos he films of Wirral Council. The author is in dispute with Sony Music Entertainment over the filming of a video shown at the Cabinet meeting of the 4th September 2014.

As if the piece about blog comments being censored wasn’t bad enough, Sony Music Entertainment have chosen to stop you viewing video of the 4th September meeting of Wirral Council over the decision to close Lyndale School (which includes contributions from parents and those associated with the school).

However it was viewed 88 times (and called in and then a minority report was written on it decided at Council a week ago), so I suppose many people who want to see it have seen it by now.

Why have Sony Music Entertainment done this? Well they claim to have a licence to the track created by Icelandic musician Jonsi “We Bought a Zoo” [2011] which was used in the video about the school shown at the meeting. I’m not disputing that this track wasn’t used as background music in the video.

However both British and American law allows for “fair use” of copyrighted materials for the purpose of news reporting and the music is only incidental. These exemptions written into both British copyright law and American copyright law. This is a point I’ve repeatedly pointed out to Sony Music Entertainment and Youtube over the past month and two weeks. A bit like dealing with Wirral Council I’ve been ignored.

There was another copyright claim made on the video (not by Sony Music Entertainment but by another organisation), but once it was explained to them the fair use claim they released their claim.

Here is the video (which you now can’t see):

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So the battle for Lyndale School takes an unusual turn as an American multinational, based on the work of an Icelandic musician Jonsi insists Youtube not show the world what happened at Wirral Council’s Cabinet on the 4th September 2014.

Don’t you just love American culture who trumpets constitutional protections to “freedom of speech” (but seemingly for fellow Americans and not for foreigners)?

Also Youtube have told me that until it’s all sorted out (which at this rate could be forever and a day) I’m not allowed to upload new clips of over 15 minutes (there aren’t many Wirral Council meetings that are shorter than this). Yes I can re edit video clips of Wirral Council down to shorter than fifteen minutes before uploading, but it’ll just take more time and hastle to do so.

I have submitted a counter notification, whether Sony Music Entertainment bother to pay any attention to it is anyone’s guess! My guess is that Sony Music Entertainment have a policy of going after everybody (fair use or not) to try and take down possibly infringing works.

This is making me seriously consider alternatives to Youtube for uploading videos of Wirral Council. I’ve been considering a podcast for a while, so will seriously consider Apple and other alternatives.

In the meantime this is another issue to do with Lyndale School that cheeses me off. Many people know that American multinationals seem to put profits ahead of people but in censoring a meeting about Lyndale School Sony are showing disrespect to children, the press, the public and the disabled community.

As long as this dispute lasts, I won’t personally be buying any music (or other media) sold through Sony Music Entertainment and suggest readers boycott them too as perhaps that is the only way Sony Music Entertainment will actually listen?

Before you leave a comment the total revenue earned on this particular video over the last two months I estimate at a grand total of 6 British pence (or if you’re Sony Music Entertainment an American dime).

Personally if I was Sony Music Entertainment I’d be wondering whether this is all worth it for what they’re going to get out of it. Perhaps they’re trying to make a political point about greed and Lyndale School, but I seriously doubt it! 🙂

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the above, so please leave a comment below.

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14 councillor Scrutiny Panel created by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

14 councillor Scrutiny Panel created by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

14 councillor Scrutiny Panel created by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

                                                   

Knowsley Council filming the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority 19th September 2014
Knowsley Council filming the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority 19th September 2014

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Liverpool City Region Combined Authority meeting of 19th September 2014 (Part 1) agenda items 1-8

At the time of writing Wirral Council’s Regeneration and Environment Policy and Performance Committee will be meeting tonight (22nd September 2014 starting at 6pm in Committee Room 1, Wallasey Town Hall) and as well as the emotive issue of car parking (you can read the report of officers and report of the seven councillors who looked into it on Wirral Council’s website, item ten is a verbal update on scrutiny of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

I was present at the meeting on Friday morning of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority which both myself and Knowsley Council filmed. For a bit of background Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council’s population is half the size of Wirral and all of its 63 councillors since 2012 are from the Labour Party.

Thanks in part to a retweet by the Liverpool Local Enterprise Partnership of a tweet on Knowsley Council’s Twitter account (with ~7,000 followers) and Councillor Phil Davies mentioning it during the meeting itself, Knowsley’s video footage of the meeting uploaded at about 4pm that day has had 129 views. This compares to a total of 21 views of our footage (which is in two parts of the same meeting but unlike Knowsley’s in higher quality HD).

Going briefly into the history of filming at Liverpool City Region Combined Authority meetings, I made a request to film the first meeting held on April 1st 2014 (the request was refused by Knowsley’s Chief Executive Sheena Ramsey as the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority constitution puts this decision in the hand of an officer, specifically the Chief Executive of Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council). After that meeting, the Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson then went and briefed the Liverpool Echo about how upset he was at not being picked at Chair instead of Wirral Council’s Leader Cllr Phil Davies.

Possibly as a result of this, the next meeting (when they had to pick a Chair again as it was the Annual General Meeting), on the 13th June 2014 the meeting was broadcast live on the internet in HD by Knowsley Council as a Google Hangout. In the interest of transparency at this point I will point out at this point that I receive a small amount from Google in advertising on Youtube videos I’ve filmed. Once again my request to film this meeting was again refused (somewhat strangely considering that Knowsley Council filmed the meeting and broadcast it live).

On August 6th 2014, as regulars readers of this blog will know, the law changed on the issue. A week later a report of Knowsley Council’s Chief Executive proposed a policy on filming which was agreed to by their Leader Ron Round. This decision was made by their Leader as a delegated decision. However the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is a separate body to Knowsley Council.

Obviously they couldn’t stop me filming the meeting last Friday. However a Knowsley Council officer before the meeting referred to the part (still in Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s constitution) that allows their Chief Executive to refuse requests to film. However if they actually did so now it would be unlawful and therefore the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority constitution should be changed to prevent confusion. I did suggest a change, but the response back from the officer concerned was that they won’t recommend to politicians a change the Liverpool City Region Authority’s constitution which is partly why a Scrutiny Panel for the Combined Authority is needed as a check and balance! The Knowsley Council officer I talked to before the meeting did tell me that a policy on filming (although never formally agreed by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority) had been agreed “that morning” and surprise, surprise is the same as Knowsley Council’s policy on the matter.

Even Liverpool City Council have amended their constitution and agreed a new policy on filming of their public meetings last week at a meeting of all their councillors on the 17th September, following a meeting of their Constitutional Issues Committee on the 8th September which was attended and filmed by myself.

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Liverpool City Region Combined Authority meeting of 19th September 2014 (Part 2) agenda items 8-16 (Scrutiny Panel item starts at 1m 55s in this clip)

However back to the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, there has been criticism of it by some councillors as it is a “one party state” as it comprises the Leaders of the councils on Merseyside (plus the Chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership) and all the Leaders of the councils on Merseyside are all from the Labour Party.

What was agreed on Friday morning by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (the report can be read here was creating a scrutiny panel and appointments of councillors to this scrutiny panel have already been made by the Merseyside councils. The first meeting of the Scrutiny Panel is planned for the 19th October, although there will be a training session before that for councillors on it on the 26th September. I presume it will run along similar lines to the Merseytravel Committee (which is since April part of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority).

There will be fourteen councillors on the Scrutiny Panel for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. Two are nominated from each council on Merseyside, with two extra places to represent opposition parties (one of these two opposition places being Councillor John Hale from Wirral Council to represent the Conservatives and the other, Councillor Haydn Preece from Sefton to represent the Liberal Democrats). The two Labour representatives from Wirral Council are Councillor Anita Leech (Labour) and Councillor Mike Sullivan (Labour).

I’m sure councillors will hear something similar in the verbal update given at tonight’s meeting about scrutiny of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

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