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Cross-river merger for coroners; Shake-up set to save PS70k over 12 months.

Byline: LIAM MURPHY ECHO Reporter liam.murphy@trinitymirror.com liam1971 @

PSWIRRAL coroners service is set to be permanently merged with Liverpool.

The move follows the retirement of former Wirral coroner Christopher Johnson last year.

Since then, the two authorities have operated a joint coroners service, based in Liverpool.

Now Wirral council's ruling cabinet is being asked to approve a perm-anent merger with Liverpool coroner Andre Rebello taking over full-time responsibility for Wirral's coroner services, too.

According to a report prepared by Wirral's council, the Chief Coroner, Lord Chancellor's Department and Ministry of Justice have been consulted on the plans.

If the cabinet agrees to joining the coroner services, the Ministry of Justice will begin a six-week consultation starting on December 8, ahead of a final decision being made.

Wirral council said guidance from the Government is for larger coroner areas than before and that the merger will save it PS70,000 next year if approved, leading to "greater economies of scale, through sharing of staff and resources".

It also said the joint coroners services would enable fulltime senior coroners to focus entirely on these duties. The aim is to create the Liverpool and Wirral Coroner Area which would take effect on April 1, 2015, operating from the Jerard Majella Courthouse, in Liverpool.

However, the cabinet report said: "The proposal as outlined in the business makes it clear that any bereaved families living on the Wirral that request inquests be heard on the Wirral shall have that request met. "Birkenhead Town Hall would be used for such inquests."

The proposals are set to be considered by Wirral council cabinet when it meets at Wallasey town hall next Thursday, November 27.

CAPTION(S):

Coroner Andre Rebello will have wider responsibilities | |

Christopher | |Johnson

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 24, 2014
Words:290
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