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West Mercia Governance Board

Notes of Meeting

Tuesday 17th May 2022, 13:30-16:15

Willison Room, Hindlip


  • John Campion (JC) Co-Chair – Police & Crime Commissioner
  • Pippa Mills (PM) Co-Chair – Chief Constable
  • Gareth Boulton (GB) – Deputy Chief Executive Officer
  • Paul Benfield (PB) – Treasurer
  • Julian Moss (JM) – Deputy Chief Constable
  • Rachel Hartfield-Lane (RHL) – Director of Business Services
  • Richard Cooper (RC) – ACC C&V
  • Lewis Lincoln-Gordon (LLG) – Staff Officer, WMP
  • Tracey Onslow (TLO) – Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner


  • Rachel Jones (RJ) – ACC Local Policing
  • Richard Muirhead (RM) – Director of Commercial Services

Ref 01/17/05/2022

Attendance and Apologies 

Apologies from both RJ and RM. Both at PNAC.  

Ref 02/17/05/2022

Minutes and action updates for the meeting held on the 20th April – (for Agreement) (paper) 

The minutes from the last WMGB were not circulated until last week. JPC stated that the OPCC are trying to resolve capacity problems at present and provided reassurance that this is being resolved. It was noted by the chairs that they are grateful for LLG for minuting.  

JM – Action 7 relates to the March minutes. Still have not resolved the March minutes and will be returning to GB with a further proposal. GB and JPC noted this.  

Decision – The minutes from April were accepted. 

PM / JPC – went through the action updates, 

Action 11 – Discussion as to whether this related to the rhythm of the update or specific financial information required. Agreement for action 11 to be closed with separate action to provide additional update by the 27/05/2022 to PCC (Action 16 – RC) 

JM / GB Action 12 – stated that there is a meeting in the diary. Further update to come at June WMGB.  Meeting on Monday. In progress. 

PB – Action 13 – Force Strategic framework – PB stated that CSR figures are overstated and this requires further review. The figures will be refreshed as part of the 23/24 budget setting process, timeframe end of Sept. The overstatement was not an error at the time but is not reflective of the current situation. Action Closed.  

RHL – Action 14 – EV Paper – RHL stated that the force is testing two EVs at present and liaising with the OPCC at this time. RHL confirmed they were compliant with the existing charging infrastructure  In progress.  

JM – Action 15 – Digital Kiosks – update provided by JM. JPC requested a timeframe, unable to provide this until the options paper is produced. It was agreed for this to remain in progress.

Ref 03/17/05/2022

Deep Dive – Partnership Working – (for discussion) 

Papers from both the OPCC and WMP were noted. The actions in the WMP paper agreed. Discussion about the best process to support the commissioning procedure. PM voiced frustration about a lack progress in the shared ambition to more closely involve the force executive in PCC commissioning function given that this was agreed in January.   

Action 17 – one off meeting to take place to focus on commissioning prevention related services within a month. JM / GB 

Action 18 – develop a joint partnership document with key stakeholders. JM / GB. 

Decision – agreed principles within the papers and the high level plan. 

Ref 04/17/05/2022

Money Matters 2021/22 Outturn – (for decision) 

JM provided the update and took the board through the headlines. It was recognised that the force’s forecasting was not as robust as it should have been, the reasons for this being worked through.  JM provided reassurance that it would not have resulted in an overspend and that optimism bias was the main factor. JPC questioned the DS underspend and whether we have learnt from this experience. A discussion took place in relation to this and, while  it was accepted that there are budgetary complexities surrounding student officers,  Digital Services should not be so complex. PM highlighted the budget duplication of c.£900k but had been given specific reassurance in the lead up to WMGB that the 22/23 budgets are in a good place.  

Savings plan 

JM – provided an oversight of the force’s savings plan. Described that what the force have achieved represents good savings discipline.  

Decision –    

1. The report is accepted as the outturn for 2021/22. 

2. The virements included at Appendix 1 of the report are noted. 

3. Capital slippage of £4.127m is carried forward to 2022/23. 

4. The sources of capital financing set out in section 3g of the report are approved. 

Ref 05/17/05/2022

Reserves Statement 31/03/21 – (for decision)  

PB – took the board through the reserves statement. The paper set out the proposals on how to utilise the 2021/22 underspend. PB noted Appendix A which highlighted all the proposals that were considered. PM questioned about the oversight of the £510k per year, how this will be managed and if funds would be available in year. JPC explained that it will  remain available for allocation by the PCC in year or as part of the budget process. JPC explained the concern about the rising cost of borrowing and this was why he was keen to reduce borrowing.  

JM – highlighted the force budget pressures in Appendix A that could not have reasonably been foreseen in the budgeting process and questioned the rationale as to why JPC  stated that in relation to fuel, this fluctuates and the force should be able this fluctuation within its allocated budget. In relation to pay, whilst these are bigger numbers than fuel fluctuation, his expectation is that the force should be able to manage pressure within their savings plan. PB explained that this was about unknown pressures and others were known. A discussion took place and JM raised that staff pay was a known position. JPC reminded that that £650k from underspend had already been made available to the force.  

Decision – 

  1. The balances held on reserves as at the 31/03/21 as a result of utilisation during the 2021/22 financial year as set out in Table 1 of the report 
  1. The use of available resource from 2021/22 revenue outturn positon to:- 
  • Allocate £3.500m in 2021/22 financial year as a one off contribution to capital to reduce borrowing and ongoing revenue cost of servicing of debt repayment 
  • Increase the General Fund Reserve to £7.500m 
  • Authorise the transfer of resource as set out in Table 2 of the report to earmarked reserves

Ref 06/17/05/2022

Prevention Strategy – (for decision)  

JM – took the board through the paper and noted the achievement in producing this jointly. Proposal is to engage at a political and executive level to build a shared ambition for prevention as well as to develop a detailed analysis for data sharing. Looking forwards to develop a joint delivery plan with the OPCC. JPC noted that it a good document. A discussion followed about how to develop effective elected member buy-in and how we can improve data sharing. PM described the document as suitably ambitious and promoted a discussion on key deliverables and ensuring we are ahead pending the arrival of the Serious Violence Duty.  

Decision – Joint Prevention Strategy agreed.   

Action 20 – Update in June – bring back delivery plan July JM 

Ref 07/17/05/2022

Fleet Replacement Programme 2022/23 – (for decision)    

RHL – took the board through the paper and highlighted the extensive work completed to develop it. RHL outlined the proposals and explained that one vehicle is a CO for replacement and proposing that this is reallocated. JPC requested that the CO vehicle is dealt with outside of the meeting.  JPC stated that he was grateful that the force has come forward with this plan early..  

Decision – The PCC agrees to the release of a total of £1million capital investment for Fleet Replacement Programme to replace the vehicles listed within the report, with the exception of YJ68 EZV. 

Ref 08/17/05/2022

Investment in additional fleet – (for decision)  

RHL – took the board through the paper. JM apologised for an oversight that the income generation proposals were not included in the report. JPC happy to support in principal with an action in the coming days for a decision notice.  

Decision – supported in principal subject to further information 

Action – RHL to bring forward complete proposal to inform a decision notice. 

Ref 09/17/05/2022

Telematics camera – (for decision) 

RHL – took the board through the paper. Discussed that there is an opportunity to purchase inbuilt cameras and repurpose existing dash cams to our non-operational fleet. Funding within the existing project envelope to do it. PB noted this the proposal with seemingly less reliance on borrowing as a result.  

Decision – The recommendations in the paper were supported

Ref 10/17/05/2022

Collaboration Approach – (for decision)     

Decision – The paper was approved.

Ref 11/17/05/2022

Annual Governance Statement – (for info)  

PM had provided comprehensive feedback included in the statement.  

Decision – supported to go to audit committee. 

Ref 12/17/05/2022

Custody Sgt Succession – (for info)         

PM explained this is for information and a change in recruitment of Sergeants into custody. JPC stated that he was grateful for this. A discussion took place in relation to the change of the posting process and whether there is a national position. RC states that the COP position is that Sergeants can complete NPPF Stage 4 within custody.                 

A brief discussion took place about the Custody HTA scheduled for next week (26.05.2022) following the HMICFRS report. It was noted that this decision will enhance leadership within custody.   

JPC – noted that this was a really helpful paper.  

Decision – the paper was noted

Ref 13/17/05/2022

Corp Comms Campaigns 22/23 – (for info)      

RHL took the board through the paper. The paper highlights the areas of focus for the teams. There was a discussion about the inclusion of prevention within the paper. PM explained that prevention runs through all of the priorities and that the force’s view is that a separate priority for prevention doesn’t work. It was agreed that this would be explored in the deep dive in the June WMGB, preparation for which is already in progress.  

Action 21– OPCC Comms strategy to be shared with WMP – GB 

Ref 14/17/05/2022

Our Operating Model – (for info)                          

JM took the board through the paper and what it means for the force and explained that any change to the operating model will come to C&T for approval or through the annual business cycle.  JPC welcomed the presentation and noted some complexity within the slides. JPC questioned how the force will ensure it has a legacy. A discussion took place on this and how the executive will ensure effective management. RHL and JM provided some reassurance on this.  

Decision – the paper was noted.

Ref 15/17/05/2022

Nasal Naloxone – (for info)         

PM – explained the update and that a further formal review will follow. JPC raised the question around liability and additional risk to Nasal Naloxone use. JM reassured that this all risks etc have been assessed. A discussion took place on the matter and it was agreed to review this in six months.  

Action 22 – Return in six months for a review.

Ref 16/17/05/2022

OCC Performance – (for info) 

JM – took the board through the paper. Explained that there was some slippage with the technical elements of the plan, for example with Saab Safe upgrades. JM explained that it is much more to do with a lack of staff and sickness. JM went on to say that the force is on track with projections with overstaffing. A detailed discussion took place about deliverables and timeframes for these deliverables with JPC seeking reassurance on this. It was noted that the professional view is that the next quarterly review will be able to understand whether the plan has been effective and whether further investment was required. PM noted that challenges due to Covid and technical issues have delayed progress but there remains a focus on performance.  

JM advised that the force we now only 60% confident that it would meet the June date for reaching target of 80% of 101 calls answered within 30 secs. JM advised best efforts were still being made to achieve it though.  PM confirmed that September would be more likely to achieve the target. 

A further discussion took place in relation to the force’s digital offer and whether this aligns with the feedback from the SMSR survey on how the public want to engage with the police. There was some disagreement about whether the SMSR question relating to contacting the police in a non-emergency related to broader engagement.  

Action 23 – return for quarterly update

Ref 17/17/05/2022

Digital Forensics Transformation Y1 (for info) 

PM – set half an hour aside outside of WMGB as it was identified as best practice.  

Decision – paper was noted. 

Ref 18/17/05/2022

C&T update 

JM – Presented the paper. Discussion took place in relation to our out of court disposal process and whether this is being progressed as a change project. It was confirmed that it was.  

Decision – paper was noted 

Ref 19/17/05/2022

ACC/ACO updates 

No questions for C&V 

No questions for BS 

Local Policing – FLU updates. ACTION – Anything arising to be raised during one to one with CC and PCC 

JPC – Noted that the ACC / ACO updates were very helpful.

Ref 20/17/05/2022


PM – raised that 999 league table publications towards the end of the month and that there is a request for a Joint comms approach.  

RHL – raised an motorcycle write-off.  JPC confirmed it could be raised outside of WMGB for a decision notice. 

PB – raised proposals for the investment in road safety. This will be in ready for decision by the end of June.