Do you want to vote?

 

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Why Should I Vote?

By voting on May 4th 2017, you get to have a say about what goes on in Warwickshire, who makes decisions on your behalf and who will represent your views throughout the County.

Councillors are elected to represent local residents – and you can vote for the person who you think will represent you the best.

Every vote counts so if you don’t vote then the person you want will have less chance of getting elected.  Someone will be elected whether you vote or not.  By registering to vote you can give your voice to the process.

How do I vote?

You’ll receive a polling card which will tell you where to go on Election Day. Take the card along to your polling station any time between 7am -10pm to cast your vote.

BUT

If you don’t register, you can’t vote.

If you’re not yet registered to vote go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote  and fill in your details.

Make sure you do this before 5pm on Thursday 13th April 2017

 

If you don’t register then you won’t be able to vote 

 

What does a Councillor Do?

We recently asked if residents understood the role of a councillor; so we have put together some brief information about councillors.

In May 2017 you will have the opportunity to vote for new County Councillors who are responsible for services across the whole county, like:

– education
– transport
– planning
– fire and public safety
– social care
– libraries
– waste management
– trading standards

County Councillors have a very important role, playing a key role in how things are done in Warwickshire. The five main areas are listed below –

1) They represent their local community
2) They are involved in the decision making process
3) They develop and review Council policies
4) They scrutinise Council decisions
5) They take part in community leadership and engagement

If you would like more information please contact Democratic Services via our twitter account or email democraticservices@warwickshire.gov.uk

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Chief Constable Confirmation Hearing

On Friday 19 December, the Warwickshire Police and Crime Panel has the important task of considering the proposed candidate for the position of Chief Constable of Warwickshire Police.

After a rigorous recruitment process, the Police and Crime Commissioner has recommended a candidate to the position, which has to be approved by the Panel, at what is known as a ‘Confirmation Hearing’. This is a statutory duty for the Panel to fulfil and members will be looking for the candidate to demonstrate how they meet the criteria for the position of Chief Constable. 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.

Review of Victims’ Services – report now published!

In June this year, I published a post inviting people’s views on existing support services for victims of crime.  The Warwickshire Police and Crime Panel had set up a small Task and Finish Group to undertake an extensive review of victim support services in the county and to evaluate the extent of victims’ needs and expectations being met by existing provision in Warwickshire.

The Group members gathered and received evidence from a wide range of sources, including local representatives of support services and victims of crime. As a result, 19 evidence-based recommendations have been identified to address a number of thematic issues that relate to the full range of victim support services in Warwickshire. Members believe that the recommendations will help to place victims at the heart of both the voluntary and criminal justice sector and bring greater sustainability to the array of voluntary organisations, who contribute significantly to the recovery of victims of crime in Warwickshire.

A copy of the report and recommendations is available here. Victims front page

The Task and Finish Group will present its report to the Police and Crime Panel on 21st November (click here to access meeting details and the agenda). Following this, the report and recommendations will be submitted to the Police and Crime Commissioner, who is now responsible for the delivery of victim support service.

The Task and Finish Group would like to pay tribute to the commitment of Warwickshire’s existing victims’ support services, volunteers and support staff and express it gratitude to those representatives and victims of crime who gave up their time to contribute to this review.

Police and Crime Panel – 21 November

There are a number of sensitive but extremely important issues scheduled for discussion at the next meeting of the Police and Crime Panel on 21st November.

Child Sexual Exploitation

The Commissioner has been asked to provide a verbal report regarding Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). The Panel will be looking for assurances from the Commissioner about how the threat of CSE is being addressed in Warwickshire, with a particular focus on his partnership working arrangements with Warwickshire County Council regarding vulnerable children and the role of the Warwickshire Police in tackling and investigating CSE. The spotlight is now on local authorities, the police and Commissioners following the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in Rotherham (1997-2013) by Alexis Jay OBE, which highlighted the failure of key partners to protect vulnerable children and victims in Rotherham.

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 will receive a report from Warwickshire Police which will outline how the force and the Commissioner will address this issue.

Cyber, Rural and Business Crime

In his Police and Crime Plan 2013-17, the Commissioner has prioritised funding to address these three types of crime and an update on recent activity will be shared with the Panel.

Get Involved

The meeting starts at 11am in the Council Chamber at Stratford-upon-Avon District 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.

Children and Young People OSC – 2 September

The Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee has a busy meeting ahead on Tuesday 2 September, when members will be focusing on a number of important topics.

New contractors for the delivery of Children’s Centres

Barnardo’s and The Parenting Group will presenting short presentation on their vision for children’s centres in Warwickshire, their key priorities, target groups and areas of focus.  Changes to the delivery of Children’s Centres has been a key focus of the Committee over the past 12 months, following its Select Committee review of the consultation proposals in August 2013. The Committee will be looking for reassurance that the new providers can effectively deliver the Early Years service in the new ‘group and collaboration’ model and achieve each of the five outcomes that aim to improve the health and well-being of parents and their children.

Super Priority Areas – School Admissions

The Committee will be considering the outcome of its review of the principle and feasibility of implementing SPAs across the urban areas of Warwickshire, with the initial focus on Warwick and Leamington. The Committee first considered the SPA proposal in January 2014 as a potential solution to address the issue of siblings not been granted places at the same school. A Task and Finish Group was set up to examine the proposal in more depth and its findings and recommendations will be presented to the Committee at the meeting.

Shaping draft strategies

At the meeting, the Committee will also be asked to give its views on two draft strategies: a) Vulnerable Learners Strategy; and b) Schools Places Sufficiency Strategy. Considering the draft documents at an earlier stage gives scrutiny members a valuable opportunity to share their views and make recommendations regarding the draft content, before the documents are signed-off by Cabinet.

Other areas for consideration at the meeting include a) the annual performance in respect of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET); b) an update on the Committee’s previous requirements in regarding Academies and Free Schools; and c) a verbal update on the planned consultation in respect of Home to School Transport.

Do you want to know more?

The meeting will commence at 10am at Northgate House, Warwick – a copy of the agenda and the reports can be found here. If you have a question that you wish to ask at the meeting, please contact Georgina Atkinson at least 3 working days before the meeting. Otherwise, please arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of the meeting and ensure that the Chair is aware of the matter on which you wish to speak.

Police and Crime Panel – 18 July

Reviewing the work of the Police and Crime Commissioner

At its next meeting on Friday 18 July, the Police and Crime Panel has an importance 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, which outlines his activities and achievements throughout the year including the development of the Stratgic Alliance with West Mercia, progress against his Police and Crime Plan and management of the policing budget.

Get Involved

The meeting starts at 10am in the Council Chamber at Rugby Town Hall 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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