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West Mercia Governance Board

Notes of Meeting

Wednesday 22 March, 14:00-17:00

The Willison Room, Hindlip


  • John Campion (JC) Chair – Police & Crime Commissioner
  • Pippa Mills (PM) – Chief Constable
  • Alex Murray (AM) – Deputy Chief Constable
  • Richard Muirhead (RM) – Director of Commercial Services
  • Richard Cooper (RC) – Assistant Chief Constable
  • Rachel Hartland-Lane (RHL) – Director of Business Services
  • Rachel Jones (RJ) – Assistant Chief Constable
  • Gareth Boulton (GB) – Chief Executive Officer
  • Tony Morriss (TM) – Deputy Chief Executive
  • Paul Benfield (PB) – Treasurer
  • Jemma Towers (JT) – PCC Staff Officer
  • Rachael Thorold (Minutes) – Secretary


  • Marc Bayliss (MB) – Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner


Ref 01/22/03/2023

Introduction / Attendance / Apologies 

Introductions were made and apologies noted. 

Ref 02/22/03/2023

Minutes and Action Log for the meeting held on 22nd February 2023. 
The minutes were recorded as an accurate record apart from: 

Page 3; action. The action stated is to be kept, with the addition of the subsequent actions. 

Page 4 – The update from Business Services is to be noted. 

The action log was reviewed and updated as required. 

Ref 03/22/03/2023

West Mercia Fleet Governance – Papers – For Decision x 2 – for Information x 2. 

Fleet Governance Paper. 

The Fleet Governance paper sets out the governance of the fleet.   

  • A strategic Fleet Board has been established, also attended by a representative of the OPCC. 
  • A Telematics data group has been set up which feeds into the strategic fleet board.  The data produced to date by Telematics has proved to be useful in establishing the most pragmatic approach to be taken both with fleet management and driver behaviour. 
  • A quarterly fleet report will be brought to this Board, via the Exec Board, going forwards. 

Action: Mechanism for agreeing actions regarding vehicles assigned to the OPCC/Estates Teams are to be discussed and agreed to by the CEO and Director of Business Services. 

Action: RHL and GB to discuss mechanisms to enable OPCC to keep a watching brief on the driver behaviour of the vehicles used by the OPCC. 

  • The PCC welcomed both the submitted report and the efforts made thus far, by the Force, in establishing the governance of the fleet. 

Fleet replacement Programme. 

A paper was submitted and discussed. 

  • 101 vehicles have been identified for replacement.  Of those, a proportion of those (20) are electric, which RHL stated can be supported by existing EV infrastructure.  It is recognised the amount of electric vehicles needs increasing, and this will be dealt with on an ongoing, affordability basis, and subject to infrastructure capacity.   
  • The PCC asked where the additional funding (over and above the cost of a standard ICE vehicle) for the proposed self charging hybrid vehicles is coming from. Clarified that this should not be from the EV pot.  
  • The Force seek approval for a total of £2.5 million, plus carry forward of £0.249m from the EV fund, and £1.04m for orders committed in 2022/23. 
  • Approval for the funding of the 20 Electric vehicles is to be justified, explaining how the existing infrastructure can support these.   

Decision: The request was not supported as set out in the paper. 

The PCC is supportive of the 101 vehicles identified, in principle, but this is subject to the Force providing reassurance that the proposal being made regarding the 20 electric vehicles represents best use of the available budget, and that there is appropriate infrastructure to support their effective use. Once reassured, the PCC will seek to support via a decision notice.   

  • Action: RHL is to provide justification for the purchase of the 20 electric vehicles.  This is to be set out in a Decision Notice. 

Fleet Write Off. 

A paper was submitted and discussed. 

  • The PCC welcomed the report contents and explanations provided for the write-offs. 
  • Reassurance provided that whilst write offs are higher in number in Q4 of 2023/24, there is nothing to suggest that this is likely to be a trend going forward 
  • Action: GB and AM are to agree the content to be published for the appendix concerned.  

Decision: The PCC supported the request.

Ref 04/22/03/2023

Talent Management – Paper – For Information. 

A paper was submitted, discussed and noted. 

  • Talent Management will link into the PDR objectives and cascaded through. 

Ref 05/22/03/2023

Pay Progression Policy – Papers – For Information. 

A paper was submitted, discussed and noted. 

  • The DCEO suggested there could be a link between pay progression and the talent management programme.

Ref 06/22/03/2023

Capital Strategy – Papers – For Information. 

A paper was submitted, discussed and supported. 

  • The Force requested that the capital strategy is clearly linked to all relevant strategies that are in place, not solely referencing the Plan on a Page 
  • The PCC sought reassurance on the link between the capital strategy and the OPCC led capital projects and the Safer West Mercia Plan.  As well as the Policing Plan on a Page. That it in future makes it clear what the role of the PCC is in the decision making process 

Action: PB to amend document to include reference to the FMS, Safer West Mercia Plan, Strategic Risk Register and the Strategic Policing requirement. 

Decision: The PCC supports the strategy subject to the stated amendments.

Ref 07/22/03/2023

Treasury Management Strategy – Papers – For Information. 

A paper was submitted, discussed and approved. 

Decision: The strategy was supported. 

Ref 08/22/03/2023

Joint Audit & Standards Committee Terms of Reference – Papers – For Decision. 

A paper was submitted, discussed and approved. 

Decision: The Terms of Reference was supported subject to the changes as set out in the recommendation concerning recommendation for approval 

Ref 09/22/03/2023

OPCC Commissioning Paper – Paper – For Decision. 

A paper was submitted, discussed and approved. 

  • Recommendation 1 – The DCC and RJ both proposed that any decisions regarding commissioning that might impact operational force resources should be a joint OPCC/Force decision. The PCC and CEO clarified that the Policing Protocol sets out the PCC’s statutory role in commissioning of services which the Force may or may not make referrals into, and that he would seek operational advice from the force in making his decisions.  
  • Recommendations 2 and 3 invite the nomination of single points of contact for commissioning.  RJ proposed there be nominations at both strategic and tactical level.  This was agreed. 
  • It was proposed Commissioning is on WMGB agenda, by way of an update paper, on a frequency to be agreed. 
  • Quarterly performance monitoring is to be provided to the force SPOC, to support their attendance at the OPCC quarterly commissioning meeting. 

Action: The Safer Streets element of the paper needs to be referenced and a response on this is to be brought to a future meeting of this Board. 

Decision: The recommendations were supported. 

Ref 10/22/03/2023

Most Appropriate Agency – Papers – For Information. 

A paper was submitted, discussed and noted. 

  • The PCC asked how effectiveness of the policy can be measured, and asked how the 5-10 percent/volume of calls that are mental health related, which go onto the other agencies, is measured.   
  • The PCC asked how the Force are able to support the caller, even if they are not for the Force’ response.   
  • The PCC asked if there is an assessment of the strategic buy-in from other strategic partner agencies.  RJ confirmed this is determined by the response of the partner agency concerned, it varies.   
  • Governance of this policy is carried out by six monthly meetings with strategic partners, and reported on via the safeguarding boards.  The PCC has concerns over this and around the Partner agencies buy-in.  In general, RJ stated progress is being made.   
  • The CEO asked what the risk is in terms of confidence, perceptions and ultimately buy-in, so the level of inappropriate calls is reduced.    
  • The CEO asked what the method of raising public awareness is around inappropriate calls being made.  The response was this is to be a dual approach between Force Comms and on a national basis, via ongoing work with the NPCC. 
  • The PCC asked what the next steps are in terms of the PCC’s involvement and in terms of stakeholder management and engagement. 
  • Action: RJ and GB are to discuss the next steps are in terms of the PCC’s involvement and in terms of stakeholder management and engagement.

Ref 11/22/03/2023

Special Constabulary Federation Membership – Paper – For Decision. 

A paper was submitted, discussed and supported. 

  • The constabulary have been surveyed, with a high level of interest in federation membership (93%). 
  • Regarding alternative options of remuneration; HMRC restrictions mean there are limited options which exist which avoid volunteers becoming employees.  The principle of refunding legitimate expenses only is to be followed. 
  • Recommendation B – Payment of federation subscriptions is supported, only to those Specials undertaking the minimum of 16 hours p.m. commitment. 
  • Humberside Force give a Council tax discount rate of pay for their Specials.   
  • The PCC asked what would be done for those volunteers not wishing to join the Federation, and felt there should be more than just that option.  RM felt other options, without breaching HMRC guidelines, and the Special Constabulary regulations, are unworkable. 

Action: The PCC sought reassurance of how the practicalities of the recommendation will work, specifically ensuring only those Specials who regularly complete the 16 hours per month commitment receive the reimbursement, this is to be submitted to the PCC within the next week. Action: RM

Decision: The PCC is supportive of the recommendation, subject to the reassurance above. 

Ref 12/22/03/2023

Reallocation of Capital – Paper – For Decision

A paper was submitted by RM. 

  • The Capital programme can be spilt into two categories; the known elements for repetitive spend and novel spend, for which the degree of estimated spend is higher. 
  • Agreement is sought on having the virement process, for the scheme of consent, to be put in place for the novel spend programme, to make it consistent with revenue.   
  • The PCC questioned the timing of this coming to this Board now, feeling the issues raised should be considered in light of the ongoing review of the Corporate Governance Framework. As part of this review the issues will then be considered by the PCC. 

Decision: The paper was not supported 

Ref 13/22/03/2023

VFM profiles – Papers- For Information. 

A paper was submitted, discussed and noted. 

  • The CEO felt the data does not give enough information on the elements of value and efficiency.  This information can be gleaned from reading the HMIC PEEL reports alongside the VFM Profiles. 
  • The CC stated the productivity review goes some way to showing the value and efficiency of the Force. 

Ref 14/22/03/2023

Money Matters – Paper – For Information. 

The paper was submitted, discussed and noted. 

Ref 15/22/03/2023

ACC/ACO/RM Update – For information and discussion.  

Papers were submitted, discussed and noted. 

Business Services Update – RHL. 

Crime & Vulnerability Update – RC 

Local Policing/OPS/Public contact/Prevention Portfolio Update – RJ  

Commercial Services Update – RM.  

Action: The update is to be circulated with the minutes. Action: RM/RT

Ref 16/22/03/2023

Any other business. 

None raised. 

Ref 17/22/03/2023

Next Meeting 

Wednesday 19th April 2023, 14:00hrs, Allsop Room, Hindlip