Agenda and minutes

Cheshire Police and Crime Panel - Friday, 4th February, 2022 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Wyvern House, The Drumber, Winsford CW7 1AH

Contact: Martin Smith  Tel: 01270 686012 Email:

No. Item



Members are reminded that, in accordance with governance procedure rule at Part 3 paragraph 2.6, Panel Members, or their constituent authority, may nominate substitute members of the Panel in the event that the appointed representative(s) is/are unable to attend the meeting.  Advance notice of substitution should be given to the host authority wherever possible.  Members are encouraged wherever possible to secure the attendance of a substitute if they are unable to be present.


Apologies were received from Cllr Mick Warren (Cheshire East Council).


Code of Conduct - Declaration of Interests. Relevant Authorities (Disclosable Pecuniary Interests) Regulations 2012

Members are reminded of their responsibility to declare any disclosable pecuniary or non-pecuniary interest which they have in any item of business on the agenda no later than when the item is reached.


No issues were raised.


Public Participation

To receive questions from members of the public. A total period of 15 minutes will be allocated for members of the public to speak at Panel meetings. Each member of the public shall be limited to a period of up to 5 minutes speaking. At the Chair’s discretion the period made available for questions and statements may be extended.


In order that an appropriate answer to the questions can be given, the deadline for indicating a wish to speak or for submission of questions is 3 clear working days before a meeting of the Panel. The Chair has the discretion to waive the 3-day rule for issues deemed to be urgent.


In response to questions or statements the Panel may choose to agree to either provide an agreed verbal response, that will be minuted or to provide a written reply to a questioners chosen address.


Those wishing to ask a question or make a statement should register by email to: send the question or statement by post to:


Cheshire Police and Crime Panel

Democratic Services and Governance

c/o Municipal Buildings

Earle Street




A list of those speaking or asking questions at a meeting of the Panel will be drawn up by the Panel’s Secretariat in order of receipt. Copies of questions and statements will be circulated to all Panel members in advance of the meeting and will be made available to the public attending the meeting. Copies will also be available on the Police and Crime Panel’s page of the Cheshire East Council website.


Nobody may submit more than one question or make more than one statement at the same meeting, but a supplementary question, related to the subject raised in the question /statement, will be permitted for clarification at the discretion of the Chair.


Those speaking or asking questions will not be permitted to address any issue that is the subject of a current or proposed complaint by them against the Police and Crime Commissioner. They are also advised that reference to an issue that could become the subject of a future complaint by them could prejudice the Panel’s consideration of that complaint.


The Panel will not accept a question or statement if:


There is insufficient detail to enable a proper response to be provided.


It is not about a matter for which the Police and Crime Panel has responsibility.


It is potentially defamatory, frivolous or offensive against named individuals.


It is substantially the same question which has been put at a meeting of the Police and Crime Panel in the last six months.


It requires the disclosure of confidential or exempt information.


No members of the public wished to speak at the meeting.


Minutes of Previous meeting pdf icon PDF 143 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 26 November 2021.


Additional documents:




That the Minutes of the meeting held on 26th November 2021 be approved.


Cllr Martha Lloyd Jones indicated that she had sent her apologies, as she was unable to attend the meeting.


Chair's Announcements


The Chair had no announcements to make.


Dates and Timings of Panel Meetings pdf icon PDF 228 KB

To consider the dates and timings of future meetings.


Formal consideration of this item was deferred until the next meeting, as since publication of the agenda it had become clear that the Police and Crime Commissioner was unavailable for two of the proposed dates. The Secretariat were asked to review options and report back to the next meeting.


Review of Complaints pdf icon PDF 475 KB

To receive an update on complaints against the Commissioner that were received in the period June to December 2021.


The Panel noted that in the previous six months two complaints against the Commissioner had been received, both had been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). In both cases the IOPC had returned the complaint to the Panel and the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Complaints Management Sub Committee had concluded that the Commissioner had no case to answer. Those making the complaints were informed of these decisions. In both cases the timescales set by the Panel had been met.


Mrs Sally Hardwick, Chair of the Sub Committee noted that both complaints, which had been of a historic nature, had in effect seen the Panel as a form of appeal for long standing complaints against the Police. The Chair noted that the process for managing complaints, introduced just over a year ago, appeared to be working well.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 284 KB

To consider the work programme.


The Panel’s work programme for the remainder of the municipal year was noted.


Welcome to and introduction by the Police and Crime Commissioner


The Chair welcomed the Commissioner and his Team to the meeting. The Commissioner outlined that one of the most important things that he did each year was to set the Police Precept and that with the Chair’s permission he would move immediately to item 10 on the agenda.


Police and Crime Commissioner's Proposed Precept for 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 364 KB

To review the Police and Crime Commissioner’s proposed Precept for 2023/23.


Additional documents:


The Commissioner outlined the consultation that he had undertaken before developing his proposals for the 2022/23 Police Precept. He highlighted the key elements of his proposals, which amongst a range of other things included an increase in the number of Police Officers and Police staff across Cheshire, improvements to the 101 system and road safety improvements.


Miss Yasmin Somani


Asked the Commissioner how the Constabulary were working smarter, by for example making use of such things as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics. The Commissioner noted that one of the key responsibilities of a Commissioner was to scrutinise the Chief Constable, as part of that process he regularly sought information on how the Police were adopting new methods of working and improving efficiency. Miss Somani indicated that the Panel would appreciate seeing some detailed examples of such initiatives. The Commissioner suggested that this should be discussed at the next informal meeting with the Panel. Miss Somani also noted that Panel members would appreciate seeing a future timetable of Scrutiny meetings, as this would help support Panel member attendance at such meetings.


Cllr Kenneth Critchley


Noting the proposed investment to improve 101 response times, asked the Commissioner what his target was for answering such calls. The Commissioner indicated that no target had been set, but that he wanted the public to be satisfied with the service, noting that if people were unhappy, they phoned 999. Such calls were answered by the same team of staff. Cllr Critchley suggested that the Commissioner should set a firm measurable target for the answering of 101 calls.


Making reference to the review of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), that the Commissioner was undertaking, asked for clarification on the proposals. The Commissioner indicated that he remained committed to the 122 community model introduced by his predecessor, where each Community had a PC and a PCSO. However, the Chief Constable was of the view that he wanted more Police Officers, the review would see, through natural wastage, a reduction in the overall number of PCSOs and an increase in the Police establishment.  Cllr Critchley noted that PCSO’s were highly visible and that he supported their retention.


Sought clarification on the Commissioner’s Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) policy. The question was answered by Ms Clare Hodgson, the Commissioner’s Chief Finance Officer. She indicated that the MRP policy was part of the overall Treasury Management Strategy, details of which would be found on the Commissioner’s website.


Cllr Martyn Delaney


Sought clarification over the likely reduction, as a percentage, in the numbers of PCSOs that could result from the Commissioner’s current review. The Commissioner indicated that the reduction would be in the region of 40, but that his Finance Office would provide additional information following the meeting. The Commissioner noted that the review was currently ongoing.


Cllr Lynn Riley


Sought clarification over how the increase in the Police precept would benefit partnership working, noting that overall outputs were more important that raw numbers. She noted that collaborative working was becoming ever more  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55.


Overview and Scrutiny of the Police and Crime Commissioner


Cllr Rob Bissett


Making reference to information provided in the papers which supported the Commissioner’s recent scrutiny meeting with the Chief Constable, he asked about the reduction in the number of drug drive arrests. He also asked if the decrease was due to the cost of drug driving tests. The Commissioner commented that the reduction was of concern to him but that it highlighted the importance of scrutiny sessions in drawing attention to such important issues. However, he did note that some statistics could be misleading and that he had asked for further work to be undertaken to ensure that meaningful information was available. The Commissioner agreed to provide further information on the cost of testing.


Mrs Sally Hardwick


Sought clarification as to the definition of “solved” in crime statistics. She was particularly concerned in the context of cases of rape and sexual violence. The Commissioner noted that there were 24 categories that could be applied, these were set by the Home Office. The Commissioner offered to discuss this in more detail at the next informal meeting with the Panel.


Cllr Laura Jeuda


Noting the current national media coverage on police behaviour and attitudes, especially as they related to women, asked what the situation was within the Cheshire Constabulary. The Commissioner indicated that he could not provide detailed information at the meeting, but that he would come back to the Panel with further information. However, he did indicate that neither he nor the Chief constable would tolerate the types of behaviour that had been widely reported in the media as occurring in other parts of the country.  The Chairman noted the very helpful and informative presentation that had been made on this issue at the Panel’s previous informal meeting with the Commissioner.


Cllr Jeuda congratulated the Commissioner on the work of the Cheshire Stalking Unit.


Cllr Jane Whalen


Noted that during the previous year Cheshire Police had undertaken over 5,000 “Stop and Searches”, but that these had only resulted in 16 arrests. She asked what could be learnt from the statistic. The Commissioner indicated that he had taken this issue up with the Chief Constable and would report back to the Panel when he had additional information.


Cllr Norman Plumpton Walsh


Noting that the issue had been raised at the Panel’s previous meeting, queried the pay rise made to the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner. The Commissioner indicated that he had written to the Panel about this, but in summary he had concluded that the original salary level had been wrong. The salary level had not been in line with the tasks been undertaken by his Deputy, or indeed with the salary of deputies elsewhere in the country. The Chair noted that it was likely that the Panel, at the Confirmation Hearing in June, would have supported a higher salary, but the very significant increase in salary once appointed, had raised the Panel’s concerns. The Commissioner indicated that he felt that the salary was now correct.


Cllr Martha Lloyd Jones  ...  view the full minutes text for item 56.