Have your say
The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is consulting across the seven West Midlands Council areas (constituent councils) on the proposals to transfer the powers and responsibilities of the Police and Crime Commissioner to the Mayor of the West Midlands in May 2020.
The consultation is seeking the views of local people, businesses, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), organisations and people who work with the police service.
There are two stages to the consultation. This is stage two, which focuses on the proposed detail of how the strategic leadership and direction (governance) of policing would operate within the WMCA and who would be responsible for making decisions (scheme). It will run for eight weeks, from 14 January 2019 to 11 March 2019.
Stage one focused on whether or not people supported the principle of transferring the powers from the Police and Crime Commissioner to the Mayor of the West Midlands. This ran from 16 November 2018 to 11 January 2019.
Responses to both stages of the consultation will be analysed and fed back for consideration by the WMCA Board in March 2019. WMCA wants people’s views on both stages of the consultation in order to ensure that the WMCA Board is as informed as it can be when it considers the consultation response in March 2019. This will help the Board in making the decision whether or not to progress the proposed transfer of powers for further consideration by the Home Secretary.
If the Board decides not to pursue the transfer of powers, then the current arrangements with regards to the Police and Crime Commissioner will remain exactly the same. Separate elections will be held in May 2020 for a Police and Crime Commissioner for a further four years who will have the same roles and responsibilities as the current Police and Crime Commissioner in addition to the election for a Mayor of the West Midlands.
In November 2015, WMCA agreed a deal with government that enabled the significant devolution of powers, funding and responsibilities to the directly elected Mayor of the West Midlands. In November 2017, a second deal was agreed between government, the Mayor and WMCA to strengthen the West Midlands’ devolution arrangements.
The second deal included a commitment for government, the WMCA and the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner to work together to look at a detailed governance model and timetable for transferring the role and powers of the Police and Crime Commissioner to the Mayor in 2020.
As part of this a Governance Review was carried out, which looked at the current accountability and decision making arrangements and identified the benefits that could be achieved by coming together. These include a more joined up way of working, contributing to a shared vision with public services being delivered in a more co-ordinated, integrated and collaborative way.
Following this a Scheme was prepared which details how the responsibilities of the Police and Crime Commissioner would operate within the WMCA, and who would be responsible and accountable for making decisions
Under the proposals, the role, duties and responsibilities currently held by the Police and Crime Commissioner will not change, but from 2020 they would be discharged by the Mayor instead. The Police and Crime Panel (PCP) would also remain in place to scrutinise and support the Mayor in exercising these powers and responsibilities.
WMCA’s Governance Review proposed that the Mayor could appoint a Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (DMPC), accountable to the Mayor, to work closely with them and exercise certain powers on their behalf. The mechanism for appointing a DMPC would be the same as it is now for appointing a Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner.
The spirit and intent of the proposals are to build on the work initiated by the current Police and Crime Commissioner arrangements whilst retaining the operational independence of the Chief Constable and West Midlands Police (WMP).
Stage two of the consultation focuses on how accountability and decision making could work if the proposal was to go ahead. It is asking for your views on the role of the DMPC and eligibility for the position; the most effective ways to scrutinise the work of the Police to ensure accountability; and how to ensure a seamless transition of responsibilities if the decision is taken to transfer the powers to the Mayor.
How to get involved
In addition, we will be undertaking further consultation events to provide an opportunity for people to come and ask questions about the consultation and what will happen next. These will be held on the WMCA’s exhibition bus except for the event inside New Street Station.
Voice your opinion in person at one of our exhibition events, taking place throughout February-March. These will be held on the WMCA's exhibition bus except for the event at New Street Station.
Saturday 2nd February - 9am - 3pm Wolverhampton City Centre
Wednesday 6th February - 3pm - 7pm West Bromwich Bus Station
Saturday 9th February - 9am - 3pm Dudley Market Place
Monday 11th February - 12pm - 6pm Birmingham New Street Station
Tuesday 12th February - 12pm - 6pm Walsall Town Centre, Park Street
Thursday 28th February - 2pm - 6pm Solihull Mell Square
Saturday 2nd March - 9am - 3pm Coventry City Centre, Ironmonger Row