Posted by: John Brace | 19th April 2020

Why has the report of the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel into Phil Davies as preferred candidate for Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner not been published yet?

Why has the report of the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel into Phil Davies as preferred candidate for Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner not been published yet?

                                   

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

Phil Davies at a public meeting of the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel (Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Confirmation Hearing 9th April 2020) from a still of a video filmed by Knowsley Council

Phil Davies at a public meeting of the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel (Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Confirmation Hearing 9th April 2020) from a still of a video filmed by Knowsley Council

Updated 20.4.20 – since this piece was published on the 19.4.20 the letter to the Police and Crime Commissioner and report about her preferred candidate Philip Davies for Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner has been published on the afternoon of the 20.4.20 and can now be read on Knowsley Council’s website.

Following the earlier blog post headlined Phil Davies faced grilling by Merseyside Police and Crime Panel as preferred candidate for Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner post, despite Phil Davies being reported as withdrawing his application I awaited with interest the publication of the report of the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel regarding the proposed appointment.

According to the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, Sch. 1, paras 10(5-7) the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel must publish the report to the Police and Crime Commissioner on the senior appointment (in this case the proposed appointment of Phil Davies to Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner).

A report to the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel (see 3.1) stated that the Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy informed the Police and Crime Panel of Phil Davies as her preferred candidate on the 20th March 2020.

This triggered the three week period (which ended on Good Friday (10th April 2020)) and indeed one of the recommendations to the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel confirmation hearing was to:-

“(iii) agree that a report incorporating the Panel’s recommendation on the appointment be submitted to the Commissioner no later than 9 April 2020.” but the proposed recommendations to the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel were silent on the publication of the report (but the legislation states “It is for the panel to determine the manner in which the recommendation is to be published in accordance with sub-paragraph (6)”).
 

The Merseyside Police and Crime Panel’s Rules of Procedure (agreed at its meeting on the 11th July 2019) state “12.5 The Panel must publish the report on the web site and by sending copies to each of the Authorities, and by any other means the Panel considers appropriate.” but a reference in its Rules of Procedure to a three-week deadline at 12.3 is only stated with regards to the Panel sending a report to the Police and Crime Commissioner and not in rule 12.5.

It is also obvious that at the time of writing this piece (19th April 2020) which is a week and two calendar days after the three week deadline expired on 10th April 2020 (or if you don’t count the two bank holidays at least three working days past the deadline), that the report and letter from the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel about the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner hearing of preferred candidate Phil Davies hasn’t been published at this point (although you will find reports and letters on Knowsley Council’s website from other earlier confirmation hearings of the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel).

I asked Knowsley Council (who are the Host Authority for the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel) about the publication of the report of the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel about the proposed Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner appointment. The response received on the 8th April 2020 (the day before the public meeting) stated:-

“The Panel’s report to the Commissioner will be published here – http://councillors.knowsley.gov.uk/ecCatDisplay.aspx?sch=doc&cat=13305&StyleType=standard&StyleSize=none – as soon as practically possible after the meeting (this may be impacted by both the Easter weekend and other immediate work demands).”
 

I’m also not insensitive to the fact that at least one of the staff at Knowsley Council who would usually support the administration of the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel was redeployed from their usual duties because of the coronavirus pandemic to instead assist with Knowsley Council’s Volunteer Hub and Knowsley Council’s Communication Team.

However is Merseyside Police and Crime Panel required to also publish the report within 3 weeks of being notified of the proposed appointment (or not)? Please leave a comment.

Wirral Council’s two representatives on the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel are Cllr Adrian Jones (Labour) and Cllr Les Rowlands (Conservative).

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Responses

  1. SO WHERE IS THIS SELF INFLICKTED EGG ON YOUR FACE REPORT THEN ,always do your home work if you want to hire some one as doggie as EX LABOUR LEADER OF WIRRAL COUNCIL PHIL DAVIES NOW RTD,back to the potting shed for good.

  2. Is there any mileage in people using the FoI channel to ask the same question?

    • Thanks for that comment.

      Section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 rules out information having to be supplied if intended for future publication if it is “reasonable in all the circumstances that the information should be withheld from disclosure until the date” (of publication).

  3. Did Phil Davies’ on the public record dishonesty inside a media press release, concealing the misfeasance in public office by senior officers linked to £200,000 public grant monies (Big Fund) going missing have anything to do with him deciding, er… “I never wanted this job”… ?

    See my blog (passim)

    • Looks like he had his collar felt
      I mean listening to him during the interview
      What a plonker

  4. You may wish to re-read sub-para 10 (5) – to be done within 3 weeks. It would appear to relate only to sub-paras 10(2) to 10(4) inclusive. It does not relate to sub para 10(6) – the publication of the report. This would suggest that there is no prescribed timetable for the report’s publication, other than clearly it should be published. The 3 weeks deadline only appears to apply to the Panel firstly reviewing the proposed appointment (sub-para 10(2)), make a report to the commissioner on the appointment (sub-para 10(3)), and include a recommendation (sub-para 10(4)). I appreciate I may have read this wrong but wanted you to be aware. They may have complied with those sub paras already.

    • Thanks for your comment Toffee Blue.

      You are right that 10(5) requires 10(2)-10(4) within 3 weeks (review the senior appointment, make a report to the Commissioner and include a recommendation to the Commissioner as to whether or not the candidate should be appointed).

      10(6) does state “The panel must publish the report to the commissioner made under this paragraph.” – the reference to report referring to the earlier 10(3) requirement for a report to the Commissioner within 3 weeks and yes there is no timescale mentioned in 10(6).

      So yes, one interpretation is that the report doesn’t need to be published within the 3 weeks – just the other matters dealt with within 3 weeks (in 10(2)-10(4)). However as 10(6) has to be read in conjunction with 10(3) it’s implied that the report (made within the 3 week period) is published at the point it is sent to the Commissioner (or at least very soon after).

      The LGA and Centre for Public Scrutiny guidance on Police and Crime Panel confirmation hearings (see page 18) suggests that the report should be published five working days after the Police and Crime Panel meets. Due to the two bank holidays that would be today (20th April 2020).

      However “must publish” is a mandatory requirement, the report to the Commissioner is made within the 3 weeks, therefore it implies (although not explicitly stated in 10(5)) that when the report to the Commissioner is made within the 3 weeks that it should be published at (or at least shortly after) that point.

      The meeting was held on the 9th April 2020 – it’s now the 20th April 2020 – so even if it can be argued the 3 week requirement doesn’t apply to publication of the report – it’s arguable that the requirement that the report must be published hasn’t been complied with (yet).

      However, bearing in mind the point you’ve made I’ve edited the article and headline to remove the references to a 3 week legal requirement to publish the report as it is open to interpretation. Even if it can be argued that the report doesn’t have to be published within 3 weeks, it’s still a mandatory legal requirement to publish it (which hasn’t happened yet).

  5. Chimes nicely with BetterForWomen report, @RCObsGyn plan to improve the
    health of girls and women in the UK. Improving community services and reducing silo
    working @sathNHS @ArneRoseBFG @GP_SCCG

    • Thanks for your comment.


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