CLEVELAND EMERGENCY JOINT COMMITTEE
The Emergency Planning Joint Committee is an Executive Committee of the four constituent unitary Local Authorities in the former area of the County of Cleveland, namely Hartlepool Borough Council; Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council; Middlesbrough Borough Council and Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council.
Hartlepool Borough Council is the nominated “host / lead” authority for the Cleveland Emergency Planning Unit (CEPU) and provide the following services and facilities for/to the CEPU:
Legal and Constitutional Position
The Cleveland Emergency Planning Unit is a “Joint Unit” established under articles in the constitution of each of the four local authorities, for example, article 11 and part 7, schedule ‘A’ of the constitution of Hartlepool Borough Council provide the power to establish a joint arrangement with one or more local authority and to exercise executive functions.
The power to establish a joint arrangement under the constitution of the four local authorities is conferred from Section 101 of the Local Government Act 1972 - ‘Arrangements for discharge of functions by local authorities’. Section 102 – ‘Appointment of Committees’ allows local authorities (two or more) to appoint a Joint Committee with respect to any joint arrangement made under section 101.
The definition of ‘public authority’ is set out in Schedule 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Whilst the definition is lengthy it does include at Part II section 25 that a public authority includes a joint committee constituted in accordance with sections 101 and 102 of the Local Government Act
Therefore, the legal position is that both the Emergency Planning Joint Committee and Cleveland Emergency Planning Unit are a public authority for the purposes of the Local Government Act and the Freedom of Information Act and are classed as and “outside body”.
Membership of the Emergency Planning Joint Committee
On a yearly basis the four constituent Local Authorities elect an Elected Member (Councillor) to act on their behalf as a member of the Joint Committee.
The Joint Committee meets on a quarterly basis to meet the terms of reference of the committee. Meetings are arranged and administered through the Democratic Services Officer of Hartlepool Borough Council.
The Chair of the Committee is elected on a yearly basis from the membership of the committee. This election occurs at the first meeting in the fiscal year.
2011 – 2012 membership is:
Terms of Reference of the Joint Committee
To exercise the executive duties and functions of the four unitary authorities in relation to the following matters: