Confirmation Hearing – Chief Finance Officer to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner

On Friday 14 August, the Warwickshire Police and Crime Panel has the important task of considering the proposed candidate for the position of Chief Finance Officer of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.  

After a recruitment process, the Police and Crime Commissioner has recommended a candidate to the position, which has to be considered by the Panel, at what is known as a ‘Confirmation Hearing’. This is a statutory duty for the Panel to fulfill and members will be looking for the candidate to demonstrate how they meet the criteria for the position of Chief Finance Officer. The Panel will ask the candidate a series of questions focusing on professional competence and occupational independence – this part of the meeting is open to the public.

Further details about the meeting, the recruitment process and the Commissioner’s recommended candidate can be found here.

Warwickshire hosts regional conference!

ADSO East and West Midlands Regional Conference, 3 July 2015

“Looking Ahead” was the theme for this year’s regional conference for the East and West Midlands branches of the Association of Democratic Services Officers. Democratic Services – as the core facility that underpins local authority governance and decision-making – has to be a flexible and adaptable service to effectively responds to local and national political agendas. As “geographers of the political state” Democratic Services staff have to be one step ahead, constantly horizon scanning and ensuring that robust governance and decision-making continues as their organisations transform and reshape.

The regional conference was hosted by Warwickshire County Council and included plenary sessions from David Carter, Monitoring Officer at Warwickshire County Council, and John Gregory, Grant Thornton, on the future of local government and democratic services. Simon Goacher, from Weightmans LLP, provided an update on recent case law affecting the sector.

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The event, which was sponsored by Audiominutes, Astech and Modern.gov, attracted 50 delegates from across the Midlands. In addition to the plenary sessions, there was a strong focus on the development of practical skills and knowledge. Delegates had a choice of three workshops which reflected the other theme for the event: working in a hung council (facilitated by Janet Purcell, Warwickshire County Council), combined authorities and new models of governance (James Doble, Cherwell and South Northamptonshire Councils) and career development (Laura Latham, Stockport CCG and Sarah Cottam, North East Derbyshire District Council).

Mala Mistry, Solihull MBC said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the ADSO Conference and came away feeling refreshed and re-energised. The plenary sessions were informative and interesting and there were lots of opportunities in the workshops and throughout the whole day to discuss a wide range of issues that we as Democratic Services officers are all grappling with at the moment. A very worthwhile event which I would completely recommend.”

For more information about the Association of Democratic Services Officers, visit the web page: http://www.adso.co.uk/

 

 

Police and Crime Panel – 26 June

Reviewing the work of the Police and Crime Commissioner

At its next meeting on Friday 26 June, the Police and Crime Panel has an important role in reviewing the work of the Police and Crime Commissioner – Ron Ball – over the past 12 months. The Panel will examine and question the Commissioner in respect of his Annual Report 2014/15, which outlines his activities and achievements throughout the year including the development of the Strategic Alliance with West Mercia, progress against his Police and Crime Plan and management of the policing budget.

Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence

The Panel has expressed concerns previously regarding the reported low ‘conversion rate’ (i.e. the number of reported crimes that result in a prosecution) for cases of Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence. The Panel received a report from Warwickshire Police in November 2014 which outlined the work that had been undertaken to improve conversation rates. The Panel is to receive a further report at this meeting and will be seeking assurances that further improvements have been achieved.

Police and Crime Panel Annual Report 2014/15

The Panel will formally approve its Annual Report 2014/15 which outlines the Panel’s key activities and achievements throughout the year and the positive work undertaken by a number of sub-groups that have been established by the Panel to effectively contribute to the Commissioner’s policies and core areas of work.

Get Involved

The meeting starts at 10am in the Council Chamber at Rugby Borough Council and is open to the public (click here for the agenda and reports). If you wish to ask either the Commissioner or the Panel a question at the meeting, please visit here for further information.

Overview & Scrutiny Annual Report 2014/15

The Annual Report for the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny function has been published and is available here.

The report provides a snapshot of the positive work that each of the four Overview and Scrutiny Committees have achieved throughout the year. As well as providing a ‘check and balance’ for decisions taken by the Cabinet, the Committees have a vital role in helping the Council to achieve its corporate ambitions and goals.

Through the review and appraisal of services throughout the year, the Committees have been able to identify potential areas for improving and strengthening Council policies and procedures in order to deliver positive outcomes for the public. These are summarised as ‘Key Outcomes’ which provides a snapshot of each Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s key achievements over the past 12 months.

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Some of the key achievements to highlight include:

  • The work of the five Quality Accounts Task and Finish Groups which focus on patient experience of quality in hospital and mental health services. This work has been acknowledged by the NHS Trusts as being a valuable exercise and has been identified both regionally and nationally as good practice. Clear improvements to patient care have been delivered as a result of the members’ recommendations.
  • A Task and Finish Group review took place of Safer Routes to Schools and 20mph Safety Initiatives. The Group established criteria to determine where funding would be allocated, to improve the safety of children both travelling to school and in the immediate vicinity of schools. The resultant report was approved with minor modifications by the Cabinet.
  • A detailed review of a child’s transition between different stages and level of mental health services, with a specific focus on the challenges and pressures that the interim stages place on both the child and their parents or carers. By engaging directly with young people, and involving a range of stakeholders and youth groups, the review identified a series of recommendations for commissioners, providers, Cabinet and the Health and Wellbeing Board to consider, as well as feeding into the ongoing service redesign which has been running parallel to this piece of work.
  • The review of the County Council’s school admission arrangements and whether the introduction of Super Priority Areas could address the issue of sibling displacement. A detailed review of the principle and feasibility of establishing priority areas across urban areas was undertaken and a number of recommendations directed the Cabinet’s future policy direction in respect of this issue.

Thank you to all of the members, officers, partners and members of the public who have contributed to and participated in Overview and Scrutiny during the year.

The Annual Report will be considered at Annual Council on 19 May – this meeting is open to the public and details are available here.

Get Involved

Councillors are about to start discussing ideas about what key topics and issues should be scrutinised over the next 12 months. If you have any suggestions, please either leave us a comment below or email us at democraticservices@warwickshire.gov.uk

Warwickshire Police and Crime Panel Annual Report 2014/15

The second Annual Report of the Warwickshire Police and Crime Panel has been published and is available here.

Since 2013/14, the Panel has overcome the initial challenges of being a new body in a new world and has become increasingly confident in its role. The Panel has pro-actively identified where it can add value to policing strategy and priorities in Warwickshire, in addition to fulfilling its statutory obligation to hold the Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner – Mr Ron Ball – to account.

This report outlines the Panel’s key activities and achievements throughout the year and the positive work undertaken by a number of sub-groups that have been established by the Panel to effectively contribute to the Commissioner’s policies and core areas of work.

The Annual Report will be considered at Annual Council on 19 May – this meeting is open to the public and details are available here.

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Get Involved

 Meetings of the Police and Crime Panel are open to the public and allow for questions to be asked. For further details or meetings and how to participate, please visit the dedicated web page here.

Police and Crime Panel – 24 April

Performance and service delivery will be a key focus for the Panel at the next meeting. First on the agenda will be a review of how the Commissioner has responded to a number of key issues and recommendations that were highlighted in the HMIC Crime Data Integrity report. Published in November, the report found that Warwickshire Police had recorded only 82 per cent of crimes in 2012/13; although this was average performance when compared nationally, a detailed plan had been drafted to improve the accuracy of crime recording. The Panel will be reviewing what improvements have been delivered.

There will be a report on the current performance of the Drug and Alcohol Support Services. The Commissioner has made it one of his priorities within the Police and Crime Plan to support Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) and agencies tackling alcohol and drug misuse which contributes to anti-social and criminal behaviour including domestic abuse. The Panel will be reviewing the Commissioner’s funding streams to support this area of work and what action he is taking to improve and influence the the performance of the Drug Intervention Programme.

The Panel will also review:

  • The Commissioner’s response to the 19 recommendations which the Panel submitted in November regarding the future of victim support services in Warwickshire, following the comprehensive review by the Victims’ Services Task and Finish Group.
  • An update on the latest position in terms of understanding Cyber Crime in Warwickshire and the expenditure of prioritised funding. The Panel has also requested data on cyber bullying and ‘sexting’.

Get Involved

The meeting starts at 10am in the Council Chamber at Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council and is open to the public (click here for the agenda and reports). If you wish to ask either the Commissioner or the Panel a question at the meeting, please visit here for further information.

Police and Crime Panel to review proposed Council Tax increase

One of the key roles of the Police and Crime Panel is to consider the Police and Crime Commissioner’s proposed policing budget and precept for 2015/16.

What is the precept?

Each force area raises extra money to pay for policing activity through Council Tax. This is called the police precept and is included in every Council Tax bill. The police precept represents about a quarter of overall funding to the police service in England and Wales. The level of police precept is set locally every year.

In its role of holding the Commissioner to account, the Police and Crime Panel has a statutory obligation to review the Commissioner’s proposed precept level and formally respond whether it agrees or disagrees with it.

Meeting – 3rd February

The Panel will meet on Tuesday 3 February to consider the Commissioner’s budget for 2015/16 and the proposed increase of the precept by 1.99%.

The meeting starts at 12pm at Shire Hall, Warwick and is open to the public (click here for the agenda and reports). If you wish to ask either the Commissioner or the Panel a question at the meeting, please visit here for further information.

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