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West Mercia Governance Board

Notes of Meeting

Date: 20th December 2023

Rm 1.20, OPCC/MS Teams


Marc Bayliss (MB) ChairDeputy Police & Crime Commissioner
Alex Murray (AM)T/Chief Constable
Gareth Boulton (GB)Chief Executive Officer
Tony Morriss (TM)Deputy Chief Executive Officer
Paul Benfield (PB)Treasurer
Richard Cooper (RC)T/Deputy Chief Constable
Richard Muirhead (RM)Director of Commercial Services
Rachel Hartland-Lane (RHL)Director of Business Services
Grant Wills (GW)T/Assistant Chief Constable, Local Policing & Ops
Rachael Thorold (RT)Secretary


John Campion (JPC)Police & Crime Commissioner
Rachel Jones (RJ)Assistant Chief Constable, Crime & Vulnerability


01/20/12/2023Introduction / Attendance / Apologies. Apologies were made.   
02/20/12/2023Minutes and Action Log for the meeting held on 22nd November 2023.
The minutes were recorded as accurate with the below exception. Page 2; Average Speed Cameras agenda item – The notes for the meeting are accurate, but it is to be noted that the timeline for the business case completion is March 2024.  Engagement is to be made with Local Authorities, which GW will lead for the Force, the OPCC stated their engagement cannot be made within the Pre PCC election period.  Agreement was reached that any engagement needs to be made prior to the beginning of March 2024.  Action 2023/47: GW is to be the lead for engagement with the Local Authorities and is to hold a meeting with them ensuring the OPCC are kept informed on progress.   The action tracker was updated accordingly.
03/20/12/2023Patrol Armour Replacement – Paper – For Information.   The paper was presented and discussed.   All board members were keen to ensure officers are supplied with fit-for-purpose protective equipment.   The long term aspiration is for assets with shorter lifespans than 10 years to be purchased from revenue rather than capital budgets.   The DPCC was satisfied to record a decision at this time to ensure that the force are able to purchase suitable equipment for the new financial year   Decision: The DPCC support the recommendations made in the report. for a rolling replacement over variable timeframes to spread cost over a 3 year period. To adopt Supplementary Knife Resistance (SKR) for all body armour issuedTo adopt MOLLE design to enable carriage of additional pouches and equipment.   The DPCC endorsed that the year 1 costs of the proposed 3 year programme would be funded from the 2024/25 revenue budget, with further planning through the MTFS to fund the cost from revenue in the future, in line with the capital strategy to be discussed at WMGB in January 2024.         
04/20/12/2023Social media landscape – Paper – For Information. The paper was presented discussed and noted.   The proposed move from Twitter to Facebook and other social media platforms was discussed, with the DPCC asking how the younger aged cohort will be engaged with. It was felt the communications methods with this cohort needs to and will evolve in line with platform usage trends.   The Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner (DPCC) expressed his interest in seeing how this communication methods approach works in actual terms. The force indicated they would be happy to arrange for this.   The CEO asked how the training and capabilities within the Force stays relevant with the ever-evolving platform usage trends.  The response was training courses are and will be given to all Community Safety Engagement Officers to ensure and maintain relevance.       
05/20/12/2023Change and Transformation update – Paper – For Information. The paper was presented discussed and noted.     
06/20/12/2023Money Matters AP08 – Paper –For Information. The paper was presented discussed and noted.   The virements were approved.     
07/20/12/2023Firearms Licencing Unit (FLU) update – Papers – For Information. The paper was presented discussed and noted.   The reduction in wait times for licence issue was welcomed by the DPCC but also referred to the number of dissatisfied licence applicants that contact the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC).    The concerns raised by the DPCC around timeliness of the licence issuing and renewal processes were discussed.  To address the concerns raised, a meeting is to be held between the DPCC and Firearms Licensing Team looking at the individuals who have contacted the OPCC. Action 2023/48: A meeting is to be arranged between the FLU and DPCC to discuss the FLU complaints he has received and their resolution.                  GW
08/20/12/2023Governance Firearms Licencing Unit structure – Paper – For Decision. The paper was presented discussed and noted.   The benefits of the proposed changes to the FLU structure are;   Compliance with statutory guidance to protect the publicImproved licencing processing time (graduated as backlogs addressed and staffing increases)Greater capacity to address concerns / issues with licence holders.   The DPCC asked if the Force are confident that the proposed recommendations meet the need for the required improvements. Reassurance was given that the proposed recommendations have been researched and that national thinking and guidance have been followed.    GW asked the DPCC for his opinion on what would be an acceptable processing time for applications, to which the DPCC responded circa 90 days (three months).  GW that 90 days would be challenging but between 90-150 days was realistic.  The desire to meet the 90-day timescale was re-iterated by the DPCC.   Decision: The principles and aspirations of the paper are strongly supported, with the final confirmation of resourcing to be deferred as part of the standard budget setting process for FY 2024/25. (Any adjustments to expenditure falling within FY 2023/24 can be made by the force within the consents granted within the Corporate Governance Framework).     
09/20/12/2023Assistant Chief Constables/Assistant Chief Officers Updates – Papers – For Information. The papers were presented discussed and noted.   Business Services Portfolio Update – RHL. Op Wembley. Op Wembley was discussed, with an update to be brought to a future meeting of this Board. Action 2023/49: A briefing on Op Wembley is to be brought to a future meeting of this Board.   Commercial Services Portfolio Update – RM. Nothing further raised.   Crime & Vulnerability Portfolio Update – RJ. The Alfie Steele Case was discussed, with an update to be given to the PCC on in the New Year. Action 2023/50: A briefing on the Alfie Steele case is to be given to the PCC in the early part of the New Year.   Local Policing/Operational Policing Support/Public contact/Prevention Portfolio Update – GW.              RHL           AM
10/20/12/2023AOB/Forward Plan.   Public Contact Capital Allocation Request – Papers – For Decision. The paper was presented discussed and noted.   Decision: Capital allocation of £185,000 was supported in respect of technology enhancements and CRC uplift.  The forecast expenditure of £131,709 in respect of project management costs is to come from revenue.   10.1 Migration of SAAB into Greenfield. The paper was presented discussed and supported. Decision: – The request for £462,000 funding to be brought forward to this FY, was supported.