EMERGENCY control room Cheshire Lines funding

Michael Edwards made this Freedom of Information request to Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council did not have the information requested.

Michael Edwards

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

Please provide me with the name of the lead officer accountable for proposing extra funding to Cabinet to keep the Emergency Control room, Cheshire lines open after closure was agreed by cabinet 18/12/2013 following the What really matters consultation.
Also please provide all minutes,emails,reports in relation to this decision, the cabinet meeting was 12/2/2014 as already disclosed in a previous request but no information in regards to this proposal are mentioned in the minutes.
The cabinet voted to close the Emergency Control Room as from 31/3/2014 making eleven staff redundant but less than eight weeks later approved funding to keep it open without informing the ex staff please could you disclose why this information was not made public and staff not informed.

Yours faithfully,

Michael Edwards

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Good Morning

 

Wirral Council thanks you for your request, we can confirm the following
recorded information in response to your queries as follows:

 

·         Please provide me with the name of the lead officer accountable
for proposing extra funding to Cabinet to keep the Emergency Control room,
Cheshire lines open after closure was agreed by cabinet 18/12/2013
following the What really matters consultation.

 

Response:

Cabinet minutes of 10th December 2013 state –

 

“We will secure our CCTV monitoring service to ensure better protection
and peace of mind for our residents, through joining forces with
Merseyside Police and Fire and Rescue Service at the Joint Control Room
while still retaining a focussed service in Wirral.”

 

The Emergency Control Room was never intended to be closed, only the CCTV
function. There has to be an emergency contact centre to inform agencies
in order to have a co-ordinated response.

 

[1]http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/ieListDoc...

[2]http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/documents...

[3]http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/documents...

 

 

·         Also please provide all minutes, emails, reports in relation to
this decision. The cabinet meeting was 12/2/2014 as already disclosed in a
previous request but no information in regards to this proposal are
mentioned in the minutes.

 

Response:

Cabinet minutes of 10 February 2015 state;

 

“Capital Investment - Funding additional CCTV cameras and other equipment
- £100,000. 

Following a number of years of reducing ASB spending, there is now a
critical need to equip the team correctly to ensure they can tackle ASB
cases more effectively. This includes replacing the 2 ASB team vehicles,
replacing the Police and Criminal Evidence recording equipment, providing
additional mobile CCTV cameras and most importantly investing in a modern
electronic case management system. The investment in this re-equipping of
resources will enable the team to operate far more effectively, and more
importantly, allow them to resolve more ASB cases by being able to capture
more evidence.”

 

“Monitoring of Council Owned CCTV Cameras - £100,000

Working in partnership with the police, Cabinet agrees to increase the
monitoring of the Council’s CCTV system by appointing additional staff to
be based in the Control Room at Cheshire Lines. The details to be reported
back to Cabinet.”

 

There are no staff deployed to CCTV duties. There is a possibility that
there may be call handlers but the CCTV system will not be switched back
for routine monitoring of images.

[4]http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/ieListDoc...

[5]http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/documents...

 

 

·         The cabinet voted to close the Emergency Control Room as from
31/3/2014 making eleven staff redundant but less than eight weeks later
approved funding to keep it open without informing the ex-staff please
could you disclose why this information was not made public and staff not
informed.

 

            Response:

As referred to above, the Council can confirm it was never an option to
close the Emergency Control Room, only the CCTV monitoring.

 

 

We trust you find this information of assistance, kind regards,

 

Tracy O'Hare

Information Management

Transformation and Resources

Wirral Council

 

This information supplied to you is copyrighted and continues to  be
protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free  to
use it for your own purposes, including any non commercial research  you
are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for 
example commercial publication, would require our specific permission, 
may involve licensing and the application of a charge.

 

 

 

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Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'EMERGENCY control room Cheshire Lines funding'.

Please can you read through my questions again and provide answers that relate to them, my first question asks the name of the chief officer who requested the funding for the control room to remain open can you please provide this?
As previously answered cabinet agreed a budget of £209,000 for the year 1/4/2014 to 31/3/2015 for the control room too function but no minutes can be seen on the council's website in relation to this decision can you please provide them?
Wirral Council state the control room was never intended to be closed can you please tell me why this vital piece of information was never disclosed to the now redundant Emergency Central Control Officers, unions and also the general public who were very much part of the What really matters consultation?
Wirral council also state there has to be an EMERGENCY contact centre so why make your experienced EMERGENCY control officers redundant and replace them with inexperienced agency staff thus putting the safety of the public,emergency services and staff at risk?
I requested the minutes of the cabinet meeting from 12/2/2014 and Wirral council provided me with snippets of a cabinet meeting from 10/2/2015 actually titled 'Monitoring of Council owned CCTV' £100,000 and to quote; "Cabinet agrees to INCREASE monitoring of the council's CCTV system by appointing additional staff to be based in the control room".
Then Wirral council state there are no staff deployed to CCTV duties which is not true as CCTV data is still viewed and copied to discs for evidential reasons for various stakeholders, the continuous evasion of the truth astounds me.
As previously stated can my questions be meticulously looked at and answered properly?
A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this addresshttps://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/e...

Yours faithfully,

Michael Edwards

Corrin, Jane, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr. Edwards,

I refer to your recent email requesting an Internal Review.  As the
reviewing officer I have re-examined your request and the response
provided to you by Tracy O’Hare; I have also taken into consideration the
specific points you raised in your email.   Please be aware that, for a
request for information to be considered under The Freedom of Information
Act 2000, it must be a request for recorded information held by a public
body.

 

The questions you raised in your internal review are below with my
responses:-

 

1.    Please can you read through my questions again and provide answers
that relate to them, my first question asks the name of the chief officer
who requested the funding for the control room to remain open can you
please provide this?

Response - The then Chief Executive officer, Graham Burgess approved the
decision for maintaining the 24/7 telephone response functions of the
control room.

 

2.    As previously answered cabinet agreed a budget of £209,000 for the
year 1/4/2014 to 31/3/2015 for the control room too function but no
minutes can be seen on the council's website in relation to this decision
can you please provide them?

Response –  The recorded information the Council holds can be seen from
the Budget Consultation meeting.  The minutes are available in the public
domain on our web pages see link here
[1]http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/ieListDoc...

 

You can also search all published minutes from Wirral Council’s Cabinet or
Committee Meetings here
[2]http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/ieDocHome...

 

 

3.    Wirral Council state the control room was never intended to be
closed can you please tell me why this vital piece of information was
never disclosed to the now redundant Emergency Central Control Officers,
unions and also the general public who were very much part of the What
really matters consultation?

4.    Wirral council also state there has to be an EMERGENCY contact
centre so why make your experienced EMERGENCY control officers redundant
and replace them with inexperienced agency staff thus putting the safety
of the public, emergency services and staff at risk?

Response – The 2 questions above cannot be considered under the Freedom
of Information regime as they are not requests for recorded information.

 

 

5.    I requested the minutes of the cabinet meeting from 12/2/2014 and
Wirral council provided me with snippets of a cabinet meeting from
10/2/2015 actually titled 'Monitoring of Council owned CCTV' £100,000 and
to quote; "Cabinet agrees to INCREASE monitoring of the council's CCTV
system by appointing additional staff to be based in the control room".

Response - The minutes are available in the public domain on our web pages
please see link
 [3]http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/ieListDoc...

 

You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner if you are
dissatisfied with the findings of this internal review, contact details
here  [4]https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/

 

Yours sincerely

Jane Corrin

Information and Records Manager

Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Department of Transformation and Resources

Brighton Street

Wallasey

Wirral

CH44 8ED

 

 

This information supplied to you is copyrighted and continues to be
protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to
use it for your own purposes, including any non-commercial research you
are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for
example commercial publication, would require our specific permission, may
involve licensing and the application of a charge.

 

[5]cid:image002.jpg@01D066DD.D7571B40

 

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References

Visible links
1. http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/ieListDoc...
2. http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/ieDocHome...
3. http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/ieListDoc...
4. https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/

Dear Corrin, Jane,
Thank you for your response ;
Question 1, I asked for the name of the chief officer who requested the funding not the officer that approved the funding can you please answer this question.

Question 2 , I asked for minutes in relation to the cabinets decision to approve funding for the Control room, Cheshire Lines which yourselves informed me was 12/2/2014, you have provided the link to the meeting, what I require is the minutes in relation to this decision which are not on the council website but must be held by Wirral Council as it is a decision to release £209,000 of public funds to keep a service operational can you please provide me with these.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Edwards

Corrin, Jane, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr. Edwards,
Thank you for your further email. The Council has provided the recorded information we hold in relation to your enquiry but if you remain dissatisfied, you have the right to complain to The Information Commissioner contact details here www.ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/
Yours sincerely
Jane Corrin

Information and Records Manager
Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council
Department of Transformation and Resources
Brighton Street
Wallasey
Wirral
CH44 8ED

This information supplied to you is copyrighted and continues to be protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to use it for your own purposes, including any non-commercial research you are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for example commercial publication, would require our specific permission, may involve licensing and the application of a charge.

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Michael Edwards left an annotation ()

Wirral Council have informed me ex Chief exec Graham Burgess approved funding to keep control room open but there is no recorded information in relation to this decision?
So they are telling me £209,000 has been approved by the ex Chief executive without any planning or reports !
They have no recorded information of the officer that proposed this idea!
They have disclosed cabinet approved keeping the control room open 12/2 2014 but they have no recorded information showing this, so how did cabinet agree to it without seeing reports,plans,etc...
£209,000 there must be paperwork showing this sum paid!