Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service

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Appointment of Members

At the time of the Annual Meetings of each of the five District Councils in May of each year, appointments are made to the Authority, in accordance with the numbers detailed in the Introduction above. Districts, either in May or indeed at any other time, have the discretion to re-appoint existing Members or to replace them with other Members, subject to statutory requirements for political balance.

Appointments are also subject to the fulfilment of statutory notification periods, which in some circumstances require a notice of one month to be served prior to appointment yet in other circumstances allow for immediate appointment. Should, for whatever reason, an elected Member cease to be a Member of the District Council which appointed them, they automatically cease to be a Member of the Authority and it is for the District to nominate a replacement.

There is no legislative provision for deputy or substitute Members from District Councils. Once appointed each Member has a responsibility to the public of Merseyside as a whole and not just to the district from which they have been nominated.

Political Composition

Of the 18 elected Members of the Authority in 2012/13, fifteen are Labour Members, two are Liberal Democrats and one is Conservatives. District Councils who nominate more than two Members to the Authority have a duty to make nominations for membership which reflects the political balance of that Council.

The Local Government and Housing Act 1989 provides for the division of Members into political groups where appropriate notification is submitted to the Clerk. Not all of the seats on a Committee may be allocated to one Group and if one Group has a majority of the membership of the Authority, then that Group must have a majority of Members on each Committee.

Appointment of Chairman and Vice- Chairman and Opposition Spokespersons

At its Annual Meeting the Authority elects a Chairman and appoints a Vice- Chairman. In 2012/13 the Chairman is Councillor Dave Hanratty, a Labour Member from Liverpool. There are two posts of Vice-Chairman, Councillor Linda Maloney, a Labour Member from St Helens and Councillor Les Byrom a Labour Member from Sefton. The Liberal Democrat and Conservative Groups on the Authority have nominated Councillor Andrew Blackburn from Sefton and Councillor Lesley Rennie from Wallasey, respectively, as their principal spokespersons for 2012/13.

The Decision Making Structure

The Authority held its Annual Meeting on June 12th 2012 and will hold its Budget-setting meeting for 2013/14 in February 2012. The Authority meets on an eight weekly cycle (roughly) and the dates of such meetings can be found in the Location and Accessibility of Meetings section. In addition, meetings of the Community Safety and Protection Committee, the Performance and Scrutiny Committee and the Policy and Resources Committee, will be held during the same eight weekly cycle. The Authority has also appointed Appeals, Appointments and Consultation and Negotiation Committees which will meet as and when required.

The Authority appointed the Consultation and Negotiation Committee of Members to take on, in the interests of good industrial relations, a conciliatory role in considering issues of concern to either the management or trade unions. The Panel has no decision making power but may, having considered appropriate submissions; submit recommendations on the issue to the Authority for consideration.

An Executive Leadership Board consisting of Members of each political group and the Principal Officers, meets to provide a forum for co-ordinating the political management process, for the informal discussion of issues and the training and development of elected Members. The Board has no executive or decision-making powers and its meetings are not open to the public.

For 2012/13 the Authority has appointed the following Committees:

  • Community Safety and Protection Committee with one Sub-Committee: the Social Growth and Localism Sub-Committee
  • Performance and Scrutiny Committee with one Sub-Committee: the Task and Finish/Efficiency Review Group.
  • Policy and Resources Committee with one Sub-Committee: the Audit Sub-Committee
  • Consultation and Negotiation Committee
  • Appeals Committee
  • Appointments Committee

Appointment to Committees

At its Annual Meeting, the Authority nominates Members and alternate Members to the Committees which it has appointed and also appoints Chairs of Committees. Details of the Chairs, Memberships and Powers and Duties of Committees are set out in "Guide to Committees".

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