Agenda and minutes

Cheshire Police and Crime Panel
Friday, 14th June, 2019 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe CW1 2BJ. View directions

Contact: Martin Smith  Registration and Civic Services Manager

Items
No. Item

1.

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:

Apologies were received from Councillor Andrew Dawson, who was represented by Councillor Lynn Riley and Councillor Rob Bissett.

2.

Appointment of Chairman for the 2019/20 Municipal Year

To appoint a Chairman for the 2019/20 Municipal Year.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That Mr Bob Fousert be elected as Chairman.

 

3.

Appointment of Deputy Chairman for the 2019/20 Municipal Year

To appoint a Deputy Chairman for the 2019/20 Municipal Year.

Minutes:

Mr Evan Morris and Councillor Andrew Dawson were both nominated and seconded for the position of Deputy Chairman and the nominations were put to the vote.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Mr Evan Morris be appointed as Deputy Chairman.

 

 

 

 

4.

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.

5.

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:

There were no members of the public present who wished to speak.

6.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 52 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 15 March 2019.

 

Minutes:

The Minutes of the previous meeting held on 15th March were reviewed.

 

The Chairman noted that the issue of Police recruitment practices would be taken up with the Commissioner later in the meeting.

 

Councillor Anthony Critchley sought clarification over the report prepared in relation to the Chief Constable’s disciplinary process. The Chairman clarified that the Panel were only being asked to approve the accuracy of the Minutes of the meeting held on 15th March 2019.

 

The Panel noted that the meeting originally planned for Friday 10th April 2020 would now be held the previous week, on Friday 3rd April.

 

RESOLVED

           

That the minutes of the meeting held on 15th March 2019 be approved as a correct record. 

7.

Panel Membership pdf icon PDF 138 KB

i.             To consider a report regarding the membership of the Cheshire Police and Crime Panel for the 2019/20 Municipal Year.

 

ii.             To consider a report on the Independent Co-opted membership of the Panel.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel noted the nominations made for the 2019/20 Municipal year by the four Cheshire local authorities.

 

Mr Evan Morris had originally been appointed to serve on the Panel for a two-year term, up to 30 September 2019. The Chairman sought the Panel’s views on reappointing Mr Morris to the Panel.

 

RESOLVED

 

That Mr Evan Morris be appointed to serve for a further three years, taking his term of office up to 30th September 2022.

 

8.

Cheshire Police and Crime Panel Budget 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 58 KB

To consider and approve the budget for the Panel for 2019/20.

Minutes:

The Panel reviewed the proposed budget for 2019/20, seeking clarification over the way in which the costs of supporting the Panel were calculated. It was noted that the grant received from the Home Office had not increased for a number of years.

 

The Panel thanked Officers for the support that they had provided during the previous year.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Panel’s budget for 2019/20 be approved.

9.

Panel Arrangements: Rules of Procedure pdf icon PDF 141 KB

To adopt the Rules of Procedure for 2019/20.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report relating to the re-adoption of the governance arrangements and Rules of Procedure for the Panel. It was considered good practice for the Panel to review and readopt its governance arrangements and Rules of Procedure annually.

 

Mr Evan Morris and Councillor Dave Thompson sought clarification over the powers that the Panel had in relation to the suspension of a Chief Constable by the Police and Crime Commissioner. The Secretariat was asked to provide background information to Panel members on the status of and limitations to the Panel’s Procedure Rules.

 

Councillor Paul Findlow asked for clarification over the status of the Sub Committee that had been established late in 2018 to review the way in which the Panel managed complaints. The Chairman explained that the work of this Sub Committee had been delayed whilst the Panel undertook work in relation to the suspension of the former Chief Constable. Now that task was complete, the work of the Sub Committee would be programmed.

 

RESOLVED:  That

 

1          the Panel adopt the Rules of Procedure for the 2019/20 Municipal year.

 

2          the Head of Democratic Services and Governance be authorised to make any changes during the year to the Rules of Procedure as he considers are necessary to give effect to the wishes of the Panel.

10.

Attendance at the Eighth Annual Conference for Police and Crime Panels

To agree representation at the eighth Annual Conference for Police and Crime Panels, which is due to take place on Tuesday 19November 2019 – 9.30am to 4.30pm - at Scarman House, Warwick Conference Centre.

Minutes:

Members of the Panel were asked to inform the Secretariat if they wished to attend the conference.

 

RESOLVED

 

That five Panel members attend the conference.

 

11.

Changing Patterns of Violent Crime: The Impact on Policy, Policing and Digital Transformation pdf icon PDF 52 KB

To receive a report from Evan Morris

Minutes:

Evan Morris updated the Panel on his attendance at a national conference on changing patterns of violent crime.

12.

Overview and Scrutiny of the Police and Crime Commission

At the meeting of the Panel held on 15 March 2019 the Chairman indicated that he would wish to discuss the Constabulary recruitment processes with the Commissioner.

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed the Commissioner to the meeting. The Commissioner congratulated the Chairman and Deputy Chairman on their appointments.

 

The Commissioner congratulated Mr Tony Spruce, a PCSO on his award of a BEM is the Queen’s Birthday Honours. He also congratulated Mr Mark Watson, a retired Police Officer, who currently worked as a volunteer supporting Crime Beat who had been awarded an MBE. The Panel added their congratulations to those of the Commissioner.

 

The Commissioner updated the Panel on a number of recent achievements by Cheshire Constabulary, including a major drugs related prosecution and an arrest in Malta of a suspect who had been wanted by the Constabulary for over 16 years in relation to murder. He also updated the Panel on the ongoing collaborative work with the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service. 

 

The Commissioner informed the Panel that the issue of the Constabulary’s  recruitment policies, especially as they relate to fairness, transparency and inclusivity had been discussed at the last Scrutiny Meeting, at which two members of the Panel has been attendance  He informed the Panel that he intended to hold a special Scrutiny meeting on this issue. This was likely to be held during the first two weeks of July and would be open to the public.

 

The Chairman sought the views of the Commissioner on senior Police Officers wearing distinctive rainbow lanyards supporting LGBT awareness. He asked whether this was consistent with the need for Police Officers to be seen to be independent. His question had in part been prompted by seeing the newly appointed Deputy Chief Constable wearing such a lanyard, which he saw as a political act and therefore in breach of Police Regulations. He also referred to a recent article in Police Insight magazine which had discussed this issue and the perceived erosion of Police independence.

 

The Commissioner responded by saying that the Deputy Chief Constable was the national lead on LGBT+ issues. He said that the wearing of rainbow lanyards was common practice, demonstrating support for the LGBT+ community and equality in general. Staff wearing such lanyards had his full support and he expressed concern at the question that the Chairman had asked. A number of Panel members expressed support for Police Officers who wore rainbow lanyards and other actions taken by the Constabulary to promote LGTB+ rights. They did not see such actions as being political.

Mr Morris noted that equalities had many strands to it. Whilst he saw it as important to support the LGTB+ community (and referred to work he had undertaken in this area when he was employed by the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service), he saw it as important that all minorities were heard and received equal treatment.

 

The Commissioner indicated that he supported both Chester Pride and Cheshire East’s Pride in the Park, which would be held in Crewe in July. He would be attending both events and invited Panel members to accompany him.

 

Councillor Paul Findlow asked the Commissioner for his observations on the Panel’s report  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Scrutiny Items

To receive, note and inform any future scrutiny or work programme items

 

Scrutiny Board  - 27 February 2019

https://www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk/media/198794/20190227-scrutiny-board-report-pack-website.pdf

Scrutiny Board – 5 June 2019

https://www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk/media/199224/20190605-scrutiny-board-report-pack-website.pdf

 

 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Paul Findlow sought clarification over how best the Panel should approach the issue of responding to the high volume of scrutiny papers available on the Commissioner’s website. The Secretariat was asked to produce a short discussion paper for consideration at the September meeting of the Panel.

14.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 100 KB

To consider the Work Programme.

Minutes:

The work programme was noted. The Panel noted that the membership and proportionality of the group that would review complaints would need to be reviewed following the elections.

The proposed dates of the informal meetings with the Commissioner were noted, the Secretariat were asked to approach the Commissioner with a view to moving the proposed August meet back to early September. Panel members suggested that future informal meetings consider performance data and joint working with the Fire and Rescue Service.

15.

Date of Next Meeting

Friday 20 September 2019 at 10.00 am at Runcorn Town Hall.

Minutes:

The next regular meeting of the Police and Crime Panel was confirmed as being held on Friday 20th September at Runcorn Town Hall.