Agenda and minutes

Cheshire Police and Crime Panel
Friday, 8th February, 2019 10.00 am

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

Contact: Julie North  Democratic Services Manager

Items
No. Item

44.

Apologies

Members are reminded that, in accordance with governance procedure rule 2.7, 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.

Minutes:

No apologies were received.

45.

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.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

46.

Public Participation

To receive questions from members of the public in accordance with governance procedure rule 14.  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.

 

Members of the public may speak on any matter relating to the work of the Panel. During public speaking time, members of the public may ask questions of the Panel and the Chairman, in responding to the question, may answer the question, may decline to do so, may agree to reply at a later date or may refer the question to an appropriate person or body.

 

Questions will be asked and answered without discussion.  In order for officers to undertake any background research, members of the public who wish to ask a question at a Panel meeting should submit the question at least a day before the meeting.

 

Members of the public are able to put questions direct to Cheshire’s Police and Crime Panel via social media platform Twitter.

 

The Cheshire Police and Crime Panels’ Twitter account @CheshirePCP

Minutes:

No members of the public who wished to speak were in attendance.

47.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 66 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 14 December 2018.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting were reviewed.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 14th December 2018 be approved as a correct record.

 

48.

Location, Date and Timings of Panel Meetings pdf icon PDF 60 KB

To consider a report on the location, date and timing of Panel meetings for the 2019/20 civic year.

Minutes:

The Panel discussed the programme and timings of meetings for the coming year, taking the view that Panel meetings should continue to be held across Cheshire, with the February meeting, where the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Precept was discussed, being held at Wyvern House where live webcasting was available. Times of meetings should be varied, so as to make attendance easier for Panel members who worked.

 

RESOLVED

 

The Secretariat was asked to circulate a draft programme of meeting locations and times, with some meetings being held at times other than 10.00am on a Friday.

49.

Police and Crime Commissioner's Proposed Precept for 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 323 KB

To review the Police and Crime Commissioner’s proposed precept for 2019/20.

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed the Commissioner to the meeting.

 

The Commissioner outlined the background to the setting of his proposed precept, noting that in his view a decade of national austerity had had a profound impact on public services, including policing. He wished to put on record his gratitude to all Police Officers and civilian staff members at Cheshire Constabulary for the work that they undertook.

 

The Commissioner outlined that the recent announcement by Government on Police funding had been predicated on Commissioners across the country increasing precepts by the maximum amount possible. He was of the view that the true effect of the announcement was a decrease in funding available to the Police nationally.

 

Starting in January 2019 the Commissioner had undertaken a public consultation exercise. Responses had been positive, with two thirds of those responding supporting the proposed increase in the precept. However, the Commissioner recognised that many people would have difficulties in affording higher levels of Council Tax.

 

Mrs Sally Hardwick asked the Commissioner for clarification over whether the cost of the former Chief Constable’s disciplinary hearing was being recovered in the proposed budget for 2019/20. The Commissioner responded, saying that the costs of the disciplinary process had been published and that savings he had delivered in his office costs had more than covered the costs of the disciplinary process. He indicated that disciplinary processes were common to all Police areas and the costs were met from Police budgets.

 

Mr Bob Fousert asked the Commissioner how he would maximise income from proceeds of crime legislation. The Commissioner indicated that it was important that money was recovered from criminals, sending a clear message that crime did not pay. He had sought, on a number of occasions,  the assurance from the Acting Chief Constable that in all relevant cases recovery of money was considered. He noted that his draft budget included stable funding for the Constabulary’s Economic Crime Unit. 

 

Councillor Andrew Dawson sought clarification over the overall budget available to the Police, noting that income came from a number of sources. He indicated that in the period 2016 – 2020 the Police budget would have increased by over 11 percent, inflation over the same period would have been 8 percent. The Commissioner challenged these figures, noting that when the increased pension liability was included, Police inflation was greater than 8 percent.

 

Councillor Dawson welcomed the proposed increase in Police Officers and Police Community Support Officers (PCSO); but noted that these increases simply restored cuts imposed by the Commissioner in earlier years. The Commissioner noted that the staffing levels under his proposed precept would be the highest since 2011.

Councillor Dawson sought clarification over capital receipts and the disposal of redundant property assets.  The Commissioner clarified that capital receipts were normally reinvested and noted that he was overseeing an ongoing estates review, which in a number of cases was seeing accommodation being shared with the Fire and Rescue Service.

 

Mr Evan Morris questioned the consultation process that had been undertaken with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.

50.

Overview and Scrutiny of the Police and Crime Commissioner - Questions for the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Minutes:

Mrs Sally Hardwick challenged the Commissioner over the way in which data on Police complaints and satisfaction were managed. She recognised that the system was being reviewed and asked for clarification over the timetable for this. The Commissioner responded by indicating that changes nationally had been delayed due to a shortage of Parliamentary time. Mrs Hardwick thanked the Commissioner for the support that his Office was providing to her over this issue. The Commissioner welcomed her input in what he saw as an important area of activity .

 

Councillor Andrew Dawson referred to increases in published crime statistics in relation to public order and criminal damage / arson. He asked the Commissioner if he had raised these increases with the Police and if he had, what was being done about it. The Commissioner indicated that he was aware of the increases and had raised this, both formally at Scrutiny meetings and at his regular meetings with the Acting Chief Constable. An element of the increase was due to changes in recording procedures required by Her Majesties Inspectorate of Constabulary. Warm weather and outdoor sporting events, such as the World Cup in the summer of 2018 were also likely to have contributed. Councillor Dawson specifically referred to a range of statistics relating to antisocial behaviour. The Commissioner responded by saying that he did not recognise the specific figures quoted by Councillor Dawson, but would be happy to look into the issue further if Councillor Dawson could give him more information.

 

Mr Evan Morris asked for the Commissioner’s views on the “tri service” officer approach that had been adopted by Devon and Cornwall Police. The concept had originated some years ago in Cheshire. The Commissioner indicated that he was following this work very closely and it was possible that elements of it could be successful in Cheshire. He invited Mr Morris to attend a meeting with the Fire and Rescue Service, Mr Morris suggested that a meeting with Devon and Cornwall would be a useful way of taking things further; this approach was welcomed by the Commissioner.

 

Councillor Mick Warren asked for the Commissioner’s views on the policy of single crewing, where Police Officers operated on their own. The Commissioner indicated that he had spoken to the both the previous and current Acting Chief Constables about this issue. He had requested that a review be undertaken, the outcome of which was awaited.

 

The Chairman, Mr Robert Fousert, questioned the Commissioner over the amount of detail contained in the diary section of his website. The Commissioner noted that all public events were included in his published diary, but agreed to review the amount of information that was published. The Chairman also asked if the way in which links on the Commissioner’s website were highlighted could be reviewed. The Commissioner indicted that the website had recently been reviewed; but that the Chairman’s comments would considered next time the layout of the website was revised.

51.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 79 KB

To consider the Work Programme.

Minutes:

A revised work programme would be circulated with the draft programme of future Panel meetings. The Panel indicated that it wished to continue the current pattern of informal meetings with the Commissioner.

 

52.

Review and Scrutiny of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Decisions and Actions in relation to the disciplinary action taken against the former Chief Constable Simon Byrne

To review and scrutiny the Police and Crime Commissioner’s decisions and actions in relation to the disciplinary action taken against the former Chief Constable.  Report to follow

Minutes:

The Chairman read statement outlining how this important issue would be taken forward. A copy of the statement is attached to these minutes.