Benita Wishart

New Members of the Panel Appointed

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Jul 112016
 

The West Midlands Police and Crime Panel has 14 members. All but two are elected councillors. The two independent members were appointed by an selection panel, chaired by the late Cllr Darren Cooper. They were pleased to receive a number of very strong applications.

We’re pleased to welcome Kristina Murphy to the Panel and to announce that Lionel Walker will be continuing in this role. Both were formally appointed at the Panel meeting this afternoon (11th July)

Lionel Walker says:

“It is a honour and privilege to serve the West Midlands community for another four years by sitting on the West Midlands Police and Crime Panel. It is in this role that I expect to see the public voice being attentively listened to in relation to the prevention and addressing of crime in this area. I am very confident that the constructive scrutiny of the Commissioners’ work will not only enhance an already improving West Midlands Police Force, but also provide much needed support to the on-going changes in structure and service delivery of our Force.”

Kristina Murphy brings a range of experience to the role:

“I am really pleased to be offered the opportunity to contribute to the West Midlands community by being part of the WMPCP. Currently I am working at James Brindley School, which is a special academy helping support children with physical and mental health conditions access education. I have 14 years’ experience working in Governance and Risk whilst employed by BSMHFT which followed successful completion of my degree in Forensic Chemistry. To support my working knowledge with theory, I am studying for my masters in Strategic Management which allows a wider understanding of the potential impact of decisions made in the external and internal environment and how they interrelate.”

Tribute to Councillor Darren Cooper, Chair West Midlands Police and Crime Panel

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Mar 282016
 
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Councillor Darren Cooper, Chair West Midlands Police and Crime Panel

Councillor Darren Cooper served as the Chair of the West Midlands Police and Crime Panel since its inception in 2012, doing so with great professionalism, determination, tact and humour. He was extremely well respected by his councillor colleagues and independent members, as well as administrative staff supporting the panel.

Councillor Darren Cooper with Bob Jones

Councillor Darren Cooper with Bob Jones, former West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner

WMCP Chair Cllr Cooper and Vice Chair Cllr Phillips

Councillor Cooper with Jess Phillips when the Panel was established in 2012

Jess Phillips MP says:

“Darren Cooper and I acted respectively as the Chair and Vice Chair of the West Midlands Police and Crime Panel when it came in to being. As the Chair he was always fair and did not let political allegiance get in the way of making sure that his job as scrutineer was done. He was committed to making sure that people here in the West Midlands were protected by our Police Force.”

“He was never afraid to confront difficult issues such as female genital exploitation and child exploitation. As a new councillor he was always there for me with words of wisdom and humour. The West Midlands has lost a great man, we will all miss him.”

Launching the FGM report in Sandwell

Councillor Cooper launching the Panel’s FGM inquiry report in Sandwell with David Jamieson

Councillor Cooper had great respect for the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioners, Bob Jones and David Jamieson. He took both statutory roles of the Police and Crime Panel equally seriously: to scrutinise and support the PCC. He also skillfully supported the transition to a new Police and Crime Commissioner when Bob Jones died in 2014 and the West Midlands became the first area to elect a new PCC.

Just last week, as he was reflecting on the changes made to policing governance in 2012, he reiterated his long held view that there had  been no benefit in introducing PCC’s, but that it was incumbent upon him and the Panel members to make the existing system work as well as possible.

“There is no doubt whatsoever he accomplished this” concludes Councillor Ken Hawkins, current Vice Chair of the West Midlands Police and Crime Panel.

He continues:

“On a personal level I didn’t know Darren until I joined the Panel this year and I got to like him from the start and was really looking forward to working with him in the next municipal year. Everyone connected with the Police and Crime Panel is shocked and saddened at hearing of Darren’s passing. He will be greatly missed and we send our deepest sympathies to Darren’s family, friends and colleagues.”

Councillor Cooper after David Jamieson’s first meeting with the Police and Crime Panel

Cllr Cooper and David Jamieson

Councillor Cooper and David Jamieson at a Police and Crime Panel meeting

 

Edited 1 April 2016

Meeting 23 November 2015, 2 pm Coventry Council House

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Nov 122015
 

You can watch the meeting here:

http://www.coventry.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcasts

The meeting papers are here:

AGENDA WMPCP 23-NOV-15

WMPCP Minutes 23-Nov-2015

Item 3 Minutes WMPCP 12 OCT 2015

Item 6: Panel Scrutiny of the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner’s Arrangement’s for Community Safety Grants

         Item 6 Evidence Pack WMPCP 23 NOV 15

         Item 6 Supplementary 23 NOV 15

Item 7 Funding update from PCC 23 NOV 15

Item 8 Estates Capital Budget WMPCP 23 NOV 15

Item 9 Co-opted Independent Members WMPCP 23 NOV 15

Item 10 Annual Complaint Report WMPCP 23 NOV 15

ITEM 11 Work Programme WMPCP 23 NOV 15

Item 12 Date of Next Meeting: Monday, 18 January 2016 at 1400 hours.

Cllr Darren Cooper expresses his sadness at the death of Cllr Phil Townshend.

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Oct 212015
 

 

Cllr Phil Townshend

 Cllr Cooper said:

“I was deeply saddened to hear of Phil’s death. His support for the Panel was greatly appreciated. On behalf of the Panel, I would like to send our condolences to Phil’s family, friends and colleagues.”

Cllr Townshend was a substitute member of the panel from 2014.

Confirmation Hearings for Chief Constable

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Oct 162015
 

dave thompson david Jamieson oct 15

The Panel this week had to hold a confirmation hearing for the Police and Crime Commissioner’s preferred candidate for Chief Constable, to replace Chris Sims who is leaving in January.

This required the Panel to review the proposed appointment and make a recommendation to the Commissioner.

This is a requirement under the Police and Social Responsibility Act 2011 and the reports for this item are available on this website.

The Panel agreed that the Commissioner should appoint David Thompson as Chief Constable for the West Midlands. The Panel letter confirming this has been published. Panel members agreed that Mr Thompson was an outstanding candidate and wish him well in his new role.

 

Confirmation Hearings for Chief Executive and Chief Finance Officer

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Jul 012015
 
panel meeting june 2015 2

Panel Meeting, Wolverhampton, June 2015

 

The Panel this week had to hold confirmatory hearings for two of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s senior posts.  This required the Panel to review the proposed appointments and make a recommendation to the Commissioner about the appointments.

This is a requirement under the Police and Social Responsibility Act 2011 and the reports for this item area available on this website.

The Panel agreed that the Commissioner should appoint Jonathan Jardine as Chief Executive for the Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands. The Panel also agreed that he should appoint Mark Kenyon as Chief Finance Officer. The letter from the Panel  confirming this and the response from the Commissioner  have been published. Congratulations to Mark and Jonathan.

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Jonathan Jardine, David Jamieson, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Kenyon and Yvonne Mosquito, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner (left to right)

The Panel was told that the Chief Constable, Mr Chris Simms, had indicated that he would be retiring this year and so the Panel will have to hold a further confirmatory hearing for a new Chief Constable later in the year.

 

 

Panel Review of Precept and Police and Crime Plan

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Feb 132015
 

birm council house

 

Panel reviews and accepts the 2015-16 policing precept

The West Midlands Police and Crime Panel has accepted the 1.99% increase to the policing precept proposed by the Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson.

The Panel, that has the power to veto the proposal, accepted the increase after a detailed question and answer session with the Police and Crime Commissioner on 2nd February.

The Panel’s report has been published on the Panel website http://westmidlandspcp.co.uk/publications/

The report has a number of recommendations for the Police and Crime Commissioner, including providing more information to residents on what the additional money collected through the precept would be used for and greater clarity on impact of the current police recruitment drive on officer and staff numbers.

Commenting on the police budget consultation, the Panel suggested that to increase public participation next year he might work alongside the district council budget consultation exercises and use their social media channels.

The precept is the part of the council tax that pays for policing. The Police and Crime Commissioner must present his proposals each year to the Police and Crime Panel.

The Panel, made up of councillors from the 7 West Midlands local councils and two independent members, must review the proposal and agree, made recommendations, or veto the Commissioner’s proposal.

The Panel meeting was webcast and you can watch the Panel’s debate on the police budget and precept here http://bit.ly/1DXuJ2R

Panel reviews changes to the Police and Crime Plan

The Police and Crime Plan is an important document in which the Police and Crime Commissioner sets out his priorities. The Plan provides a direct means though which the Panel can hold the Commissioner to account and scrutinise his work. The Commissioner must consult the Panel on any changes he wants make to the Plan.

The Panel questioned the Police and Crime Commissioner on changes to the Plan on 2nd February.  The Panel’s report has now been published on http://westmidlandspcp.co.uk/publications/

Whilst recognising the work that has gone into reshaping this document the Panel suggested several areas for the Commissioner to consider that would ensure the Plan reflected current priorities across the West Midlands and support the existing work being undertaken by West Midlands Police and partner organisations to reduce crime and improve community safety.

The Panel asked for more details on the work of the force to address “hidden crimes” including how improvements will be achieved,  recognition of the new statutory duties under the Prevent Strategy, tackling alcohol related crimes, and more details on targets and baselines for the objectives set out in the Plan  to enable the public and the panel to track and judge the commissioner’s success.

You can watch the Panel’s debate on changes to the Police and Crime Plan here http://bit.ly/1IKkB44

Have Your Say on Police Leadership, Ethics and Accountability.

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Dec 152014
 

The Committee for Standards in Public Life is looking at the role of Chief Constables, Police and Crime Commissioners and Police and Crime Panels. The focus is on leadership, ethics and accountability.

On 19th December some of the Committee Members are visiting the West Midlands and would like to extend an invitation to you to meet with them. It will be between 9 and 10 a.m. this Friday in Sandwell Council House, Oldbury.

If you can not make the meeting then you can tweet questions to them @PublicStandards or email them public@standards.gsi.gov.uk.

Further details are on their press release: CSPL Notification of Meeting 19 Dec 2014

The Panel’s Tribute to Bob Jones

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Jul 182014
 
Councillor Darren Cooper with Bob Jones

Councillor Darren Cooper with Bob Jones

The Panel paid tribute to Bob Jones at its meeting on 14th July, 2014. In addition to a minute’s silence to mark their respect, Members from across the political spectrum reflected on what Bob had contributed in over thirty years service to Wolverhampton and the West Midlands. A particularly moving accolade came from Cllr John Rowley who had served with Bob Jones as ward councillor for Blakenhall from 1982 until Bob resigned from the Council after taking up the role of PCC.

Following the discussion the Panel has submitted the following post to the book of condolences for Bob:

The West Midlands Police and Crime Panel, Chaired by Cllr Darren Cooper had the responsibility of scrutinising Bob Jones as Police and Crime Commissioner since the day he took office in November 2012. Although he was opposed to the concept of PCC, he served the public of the West Midlands with great dedication. He fought the corner of those who needed it, performed the role without fear or favour and made every effort to get to meetings across the whole of the region. The Panel had the utmost respect for Bob’s  knowledge of police, and of his  values. Overall he was an outstanding PCC  and an inherently decent man.

The book of condolences remains open:

http://www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/news/book-of-condolences-for-bob-jones