Agendas, Meetings and Minutes - Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Contact: Sheena Jones 


No. Item


Welcome and Introductions

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The Chairman welcomed everyone to the Meeting and thanked them for attending the meeting at short notice.


Cllr Sahota (Telford and Wrekin Council) was welcomed to his first meeting of the Panel.



Named Substitutes

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Cllr Parry attended as substitute for Councillor Dakin (Shropshire Council).



Apologies and Declarations of Interest

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Apologies were received from Cllrs Roger Evans, Gareth Prosser and Juliet Smith.


Councillor Mackay declared that he was a retired Police Officer in receipt of Police Pension (not West Mercia Police).



Public Participation

Members of the public wishing to take part (asking a question or making a statement) should notify the Head of Legal and Democratic Services in writing or by email indicating both the nature and content of their proposed participation no later than 9.00am on the working day before the meeting (in this case xxxxxxx).  Enquiries can be made through the telephone number / email address listed below.

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Confirmation of the Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 125 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Panel meeting held on 18 September 2018.

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The Minutes of the Meeting held on 18 September 2018 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



West Mercia Withdrawal from the Strategic Alliance with Warwickshire pdf icon PDF 78 KB

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The Chairman explained that today's meeting had been called to gain a better understanding of the reasons behind the 9 October joint announcement by the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and Chief Constable (CC) of their intention to withdraw from the current strategic alliance arrangements the force had with Warwickshire. 


The Chairman reminded the Panel that at the time the strategic alliance was formed the then Chief Constable David Shaw said "An alliance was possible because we both aim to reduce harm and increase public trust and confidence in policing by using all our resources to tackle those harms that are most serious or most likely to occur. In time, we shall have an even greater proportion of our workforce in operational roles and a larger shared workforce than if we maintained current individual force arrangements." 


The Chairman suggested that as the present PCC and CC were seeking to return to the previous arrangement, the Alliance was not working and some Members of the Panel were keen to discover what had led to this decision, as well as trying to grasp the implications for West Mercia Police as a whole, both in terms of structure and as far as possible finances.


The PCC explained that he was surprised that a Meeting had been called at short notice and whilst he was keen to support the Panel he was concerned that there was little value in a public meeting at this stage.  He suggested this may only frustrate members who were not able to get answers to questions they may have, either because they didn’t exist yet or because they couldn’t be provided in public for legal or commercial reasons.


The current Alliance was affecting the delivery of efficient and effective policing in West Mercia and any new relationship would need to be based on different governance arrangements, which would deliver more autonomy and accountability to both constituent forces. There was a 12 month period for the exit strategy, which ended on 8 October 2019and the PCC believed that a new arrangement could be negotiated which would be mutually beneficial.


Discussion Points


·       Discussions about future collaboration with Warwickshire were in the early stages – Warwickshire Police and Crime Panel met last week

·       The costs associated with withdrawing from the Alliance were not known at this stage and would not be confirmed until the end of the negotiation

·       A member suggested that when the Alliance was set up in 2012, it was envisaged that there would be £35m savings and withdrawing from the Alliance would prove costly and result in job losses for Police Officers.  The PCC explained that the collaboration with Warwickshire wasn’t working in the best interests of West Mercia and withdrawing from the Alliance was about governance and control, whilst retaining the benefits

·       The PCC confirmed that Warwickshire had acknowledged the notice of withdrawal but as yet, had not formally responded to it

·       A Member referred to the West Mercia Police  ...  view the full minutes text for item 277.