Appointments

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Dear Liverpool City Region Combined Authority,

A person named Alex Croft was recenty arrested as part of an investigation into property practices of Liverpool City Council.

Mr Croft was an employee of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and describes himself as a former advisor to Steve Rotherham.

Please answer the following:

What role was performed by Mr Croft?

How was that role advertised? Between what dates and where was it advertised?

How many people were interviewed for the role?

On what date did Mr Crofts employment begin?

Another individual of the CA is employed in the role of 'Lead Officer - Equality and Fairness'
Please answer the following:

When was that post created in the structure of the Liverpool City Region CA?

How was that role advertised? Between what dates and where was it advertised?

How many people were interviewed for the role?

On what date did employment in the role begin?

Both Mr Croft and the person fulfilling the role of Lead Officer - Equality and Fairness worked on Steve Rotherhams campaign to be the Mayor of the City Region. Mayors are only permitted to make a single political appointment to be a paid role within the CA.

Were either of the two above people the political appointment permitted?

If not, who is the political appointment of Mayor Steve Rotherham?

Was the Chief Executive of the CA and the Director responsible for Human Resources aware of the fact that Mr Croft and the post-holder of Lead Officer - Equality and Fairness had worked on Mr Rotherham's political campiagn before the appointments were made?

Yours faithfully,

Liam Jones

FOI CA, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

Dear Mr Jones

RSN21751

Thank you for your email to the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. Your request is being dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 / Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and we will aim to provide a response within twenty working days.

Please note that due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Information Commissioner’s Office has acknowledged that resources may be diverted away from functions such as responding to information requests to ensure that other services can still be delivered. This may mean that a response is provided outside of the stautory timeframe. Your patience is appreciated at this extraordinary time.

If you have any queries about this request do not hesitate to contact me. Please quote the reference number above in any future communications.

Yours sincerely,

Andy Henderson

Senior Information Management Officer | LCRCA | Mann Island, PO Box 1976, Liverpool, L69 3HN
Office: 0151 330 1679 | Email: [Liverpool City Region Combined Authority request email]

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dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI CA, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Jones

 

RSN21751

 

Thank you for your recent request made under the Freedom of Information
Act. Please find the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s response
below.

 

What role was performed by Mr Croft?

 

Communications Officer

 

Please note that the Combined Authority would not ordinarily comment on
the employment of junior officers due to our obligations under the General
Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018. However,
given public statements made by Mr Croft we believe that there is a
legitimate interest in clarifying the nature of his employment.

 

How was that role advertised? Between what dates and where was it
advertised?

 

The role was not advertised. Please see our response to your final
question below for context.

 

How many people were interviewed for the role?

 

As above

 

On what date did Mr Crofts employment begin?

 

1 June 2017

 

Another individual of the CA is employed in the role of 'Lead Officer -
Equality and Fairness'. Please answer the following:

When was that post created in the structure of the Liverpool City Region
CA?

 

All Lead Officers posts were created in January/February 2018.

 

How was that role advertised? Between what dates and where was it
advertised?

 

In accordance with our Record Retention Schedule & Retention Guidance we
only hold recruitment information for a 6 month period post advertising,
therefore we no longer hold this information.

 

How many people were interviewed for the role?

 

As above

 

On what date did employment in the role begin?

 

14 May 2018

 

Both Mr Croft and the person fulfilling the role of Lead Officer -
Equality and Fairness worked on Steve Rotherhams campaign to be the Mayor
of the City Region. Mayors are only permitted to make a single political
appointment to be a paid role within the CA. Were either of the two above
people the political appointment permitted?

 

No

 

If not, who is the political appointment of Mayor Steve Rotherham?

 

Though permitted by the Combined Authority’s Constitution, the Metro Mayor
has not made a political appointment.

 

Was the Chief Executive of the CA and the Director responsible for Human
Resources aware of the fact that Mr Croft and the post-holder of Lead
Officer - Equality and Fairness had worked on Mr Rotherham's political
campaign before the appointments were made?

 

When Mr Rotheram began his term of office, on 8 May 2017, there were no
staff at all employed by the Combined Authority. There was an urgent need
to provide some interim support to Mr Rotheram to enable him to fulfil his
role. Mr Croft was only employed by the CA for a period of approximately 8
weeks as there was an urgent need for some interim communication officer
support to the Mayor until a permanent post could be created, advertised
and filled. The Lead Officer – Equality and Fairness was appointed after a
competitive process. Both the Chief Executive of Merseytravel (who was
also acting as Interim Head of Paid Service of the CA due to the capacity
issue referenced earlier) and the Merseytravel Director responsible for
Human Resources (who was also providing part time support to the CA at the
time) were aware that both Mr Croft and the Lead Officer – Equality and
Fairness had worked on Mr Rotheram’s political campaign before the
appointments were made.

 

I trust that this information is of interest to you.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the
right to ask for an internal review, which should be addressed to:

Jill Coule

Chief Legal Officer / Monitoring Officer

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

[1][email address]

 

If you are not content with the result of your internal review, you also
have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner, whose address
is

The Information Commissioner’s Office,

Wycliffe House,

Water Lane,

Wilmslow,

Cheshire SK9 5AF

[2]www.ico.org.uk

 

Andy Henderson

 

Senior Information Management Officer | LCRCA | Mann Island, PO Box 1976,
Liverpool, L69 3HN

Office: 0151 330 1679 | Email: [3][Liverpool City Region Combined Authority request email]

 

Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

 

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dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear FOI CA,

Thank you for the information provided.

It confirms that both members of Steve Rotherham’s campaign to be the Mayoral candidate for Labour and his campaign to be the Mayor itself were subsequently employed at tax-payer expense by the Combined Authority. It doesn’t seem plausible that this was a coincidence!

Your reply also confirms that in one case there was no process at all applied to recruit the person (who was subsequently arrested when Joe Anderson was) and in the other you are claiming to not have the records to show the person was appointed through a proper process. This is again not implausible.

It smacks of Labour activists being employed at tax-payer cost because they were politically active supporters of the Mayor and not because they were appropriate for the job. It also suggests the Chief Executive and Director responsive for Human Resources were supporters of such given they knew the circumstances.

Yours sincerely,

Liam Jones