The East Lothian and Midlothian Public Protection Committee has new independent Chair

Keith Mackay, formerly a Detective Chief Inspector, Public Protection, Lothian and Scottish Borders Division, has been appointed the new independent Chair of EMPCC (East Lothian and Midlothian Public Protection Committee).

EMPPC was established in 2014 and is the local strategic partnership responsible for the overview of policy and practice in relation to Adult Protection, Child Protection, Offender Management and Violence Against Women and Girls.

The membership of EMPPC and subcommittees is made up of senior managers from statutory agencies including East Lothian and Midlothian Councils, Police Scotland, NHS Lothian, Health, and Social Care Partnerships in addition to representation from the third sector and Scottish Fire and Rescue Services.  EMPPC is supported by the Public Protection Team Manager and Lead Officers for Child Protection, Adult Protection, Violence against Women and Girls Co-ordinator and business support.  These posts are jointly funded.

The role of the Chair of EMPPC is to ensure the Committee fulfils the core functions of leadership in public protection, continuous improvement, strategic planning and connections, assurance and oversight of risk and annual reporting.  The Chair also facilitates mutual interagency accountability for the delivery of improvement priorities and performance targets, supporting the committee to inform the wider planning of services for children and adults, and to advise the Public Protection Chief Officers Group on all aspects of Public Protection.

The Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 notes the Chair must be independent from the Council.  In addition, the recent revised Code of Practice for Adult Support and Protection 2022 recommends the Chair should also be independent of Police Scotland and NHS.

EMPPC reports to the Critical Services Oversight Group (CSOG) which is co-chaired by Monica Patterson, Chief Executive of East Lothian Council and Grace Vickers, Chief Executive of Midlothian Council.

Midlothian Council Chief Executive, Dr Grace Vickers said: “Keith’s sterling credentials will ensure he has the knowledge and commitment to bring all public protection partners together for the benefit of our communities.

“I’m delighted to welcome Keith and look forward to the significant contribution I am confident he will make to the EMPCC.”

East Lothian Council Chief Executive, Monica Patterson, has welcomed this appointment saying: “Keith is bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to this important role. Identifying and ensuring the protection of others within our communities is a shared responsibility of a number of public agencies and our communities themselves. The EMPPC brings together individuals and teams in a collaborative way sharing best practice and introducing and maintaining appropriate preventative measures and support as required.”

Alison Macdonald, Executive Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals at NHS Lothian, said: “Working collaboratively to protect the most vulnerable in society and tackle violence against women and girls is of the utmost importance.  

“We’re pleased to welcome Keith as Chair of the EMPPC and look forward to continuing to work with the committee to collectively strengthen our practices, policies and expertise.”

Published: Tuesday, 21st February 2023