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Due to an increase in resources it is necessary for the Herefordshire Multi Agency
Safeguarding Hub (MASH) team, made up of the Local Authority, West Mercia
Police and NHS staff, to be relocated to premises at Herefordshire Council’s offices
in Plough Lane, Hereford.

The move is necessitated by previous accommodation (Wilson House, Hereford)
being unable to accommodate the new resourcing levels required for the service.
The team has now relocated and a new licence for their occupation needs to be put
in place.

For the PCC to approve the creation of a licence for occupation to allow the MASH
team members to use the Herefordshire Council office on Plough Lane, Hereford.
For the PCC to agree to fund legal costs for the sum of £250.

West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner


A Multi Agency Support Hub (MASH) is a multi-agency team which identifies risks
to vulnerable children. The MASH is the first point of contact for new safeguarding
referrals and has significantly improved the sharing of information between the local
council, police, and the NHS to help protect the most vulnerable children and adults
from harm, neglect, and abuse.

The Herefordshire service is provided by partners from Herefordshire Council, West
Mercia Police, and the CCG/NHS. A Fair User Agreement was drawn up whereby
all parties agreed that the partners would not charge each other occupation costs. It
was confirmed that all partners contribute for the provision of welfare and
management of the staff – a nominated individual from Children Services acts as a
Team Leader. West Mercia Police (not the OPCC directly) pay a share of £15,000
per annum.

Following an OFSTED inspection in Herefordshire it has been necessary to increase
resourcing to the MASH team. The previous accommodation for the team at Wilson
House, Hereford could not meet the new space requirements. It has therefore been
necessary to relocate the MASH to Herefordshire Council offices at Plough Lane,
As of December 2022, the MASH team has occupied the premises at Plough Lane,
pending a new licence for the occupation of the police staff on site – 9 desks spaces
will be used by West Mercia Police staff members.

Herefordshire Council have proposed terms for this licence which are very similar to
the ones to those in the licence for occupation at Wilson House. The only difference
is the term of the arrangement. The existing licence was for a term of 10 years while
the proposed term for the new licence is one calendar year which is to be renewed
automatically for the consequent calendar year should neither party serve a one
month’s notice to terminate the arrangements.

In line with the Fair User Agreement in place between the partners, Herefordshire
Council will be responsible for the running costs and maintenance of the premises
the MASH team occupy. Costs to the PCC will be limited to £1 per year. The PCC
would also be liable to cover any costs associated with rectifying damages caused
by West Mercia Police staff and the charges incurred in ensuring the statutory
compliance of equipment on site owned by West Mercia Police (e.g. PAT testing for
West Mercia Police owned devices).

This decision supports the following element(s) of the Safer West Mercia Plan:
☒ Putting Victims and Survivors First ☒ Building a More Secure West Mercia
☒ Reforming West Mercia ☒ Reassuring West Mercia’s Communities

The decision supports all of these objectives through the following:
 Putting victims & survivors first
 Ensures an appropriate range of support services for every victim
 Delivers effective, early intervention and prevention for vulnerable people
 Ensures victim support services are sustainable in the medium and long term
 Making West Mercia a safer place by reducing crime and reoffending
 Improves responses and outcomes around domestic abuse and sexual
 West Mercia Police continues to establish and maintain a clear, strong
identity with its staff, public and partners
 Ensures West Mercia’s estate delivers the facilities police and communities
need, in the most effective, efficient way possible
 West Mercia Police continues to form partnerships in the best interests of
local communities to prevent crime and disorder and reduce crime

Benefits include:
 Enables Hereford MASH function to co-locate with public sector partners, in
line with Government recommendations. This will also enable this MASH to
co-locate in line with all other MASH teams West Mercia Police is a part of.
 West Mercia Police & Partners plan and deliver services in a more strategic
and collaborative way.
 Improved operational working relations, to continue to provide a service to
the public.
 Enables the co-location of the Herefordshire MASH function, to ensure that
safeguarding support continues to be delivered to the communities and
vulnerable people.
 Supporting OPE partnership working with other public sector bodies by colocating in one premises.
 Ensuring public funds are spent in the best way possible, maximising the
financial resource
 Optimization of use of space in the Estate – by freeing up the freehold-owned
Wilson House, the space will be utilised for West Mercia Police only teams
which require space in Hereford.

Name: Christopher O’Hara Date: 23rd Jan 2023

The proposal is for an annual licence to occupy agreement with Herefordshire
Council of £1 per annum, based on the reciprocal arrangement agreement for MASH
provision across West Mercia.

There will be Legal costs to the PCC, for the sum of £250 to enter into the lease with
Hereford Council.

There is no requirement for additional capital investment or ongoing revenue budget
provision from the PCC in respect of moving the MASH team to Herefordshire
Council’s offices in Plough Lane.

Signature Date 08/02/23

By virtue of schedule 11, paragraph 14 of the Police Reform and Social
Responsibility Act 2011 the Police and Crime Commissioner may do anything which
is calculated to facilitate, or is conducive or incidental to, the exercise of the functions
of commissioner. That includes entering into contracts and other agreements
(whether legally binding or not) and acquiring and disposing of property (including

Information in this form is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI Act)
and other legislation. Part 1 of this form will be made available on the West Mercia
Commissioner’s website. Any facts and advice that should not be made
automatically available on request are not included in Part 1 but instead in a
separate Part 2 report.

Chief Executive Officer
Signature Date 08/02/23

To read a PDF signed copy of this decision notice click here. If you would like this decision notices and the appendices in an accessible format please email [email protected]