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West Mercia Governance Board

Notes of Meeting

Wednesday 18 October 2023


Willison Room, Hindlip


John Campion (Chair), Police & Crime Commissioner

Alex Murray, T/Chief Constable

Marc Bayliss, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner

Paul Benfield, Treasurer

Richard Cooper, T/Deputy Chief Constable

Richard Muirhead, Director of Commercial Services

Rachel Hartland-Lane, Director of Business Services

Rachel Jones, Assistant Chief Constable, Crime & Vulnerability

Grant Wills, T/Assistant Chief Constable, Local Policing

Rachael Thorold, Secretary


Gareth Boulton, Chief Executive Officer


Ref 01/18/10/2023


Introductions were made and apologies noted.

Ref 02/18/10/2023

Minutes and Action Log for the meeting held on 20th September 2023.

The minutes were recorded as an accurate record.
The Commissioner welcomed the new attendee members to the meeting and recognised the collaborative working the partnership carries out and will carry out going forwards.
The action log was updated accordingly.

Ref 03/18/10/2023

Fleet – Papers – For Decision.

The below papers were presented and discussed.

  • Request to approve the Fleet Strategy
  • Approve the Vehicle replacement criteria
  • Consider options for an additional £1m of capital funding in fleet during 2023/24 based on the Outline business case

The following salient points were made:

RHL highlighted that a response had been received from the OPCC and has been considered by the Force as to whether further revisions are required as a result. The expectation is that they will not. PCC requested an updated version of the management strategy is brought to the next meeting to confirm this before its’ approval.

In respect of the vehicle replacement criteria, the report was consistent with the approach agreed in March 2023-24 and will be used to inform the replacement programme capital bid for the 2024/25 financial year. A further revision will then be made in March 2024. The PCC sought reassurance that the timing of reviews is appropriate to fit with the annual replacement programme. On receiving this assurance, the PCC agreed the proposed replacement criteria.

Decision: The fleet replacement criteria was approved.

Whilst there were various options presented, the A/CC presented his view that a proportional split, which recognised the business need, would be appropriate.

In relation to the options presented for the additional in year capital investment, the PCC stated it was important that the fleet management strategy looked to reduce the amount of running repairs being made to the fleet, thus reducing the pressure on the workshops. Based on the recommendation from the A/CC, the PCC supported an investment in both additionality and replacement.

Decision: The PCC approved an investment of £1m capital in the vehicle fleet, for a 60% on additionality/40% on replacement split basis.
Action 2023/36: An update to be brought to the November WMGB on how the investment has been made.

Ref 04/18/10/2023

Money Matters Q2 2023-2024 – Paper – For Information.

The paper was presented and discussed with the following salient points made:

  • Staff pay and vacancies were discussed and their impact on the budget.
  • The PCC sought reassurance regarding the force delivering all savings
    identified and that additional income was not being used to reduce the
    requirement to drive delivery of all savings.
  • The response was given that a large proportion of the said savings will be
    met, and focus is on delivering all possible savings. There is a recognition
    that it has not been possible to deliver all the planned savings, such as in
    DST, but that the reasons for this are known and accepted.
  • It was agreed at the July 2023 meeting of this Board that an update on the
    Safer West Mercia Overtime devolved fund would be included in each
    quarter’s Money Matters paper. This was omitted. The PCC requested an
    addendum to the Quarter 2 paper.

Action 2023/37: An update to be provided at the November WMGB as to the Q2 position and RM is to ensure there is an addendum to the quarter 2 Money Matters paper covering an update on the overtime fund.

Ref 05/18/10/2023

Firearms Licensing Unit (FLU) Performance – Papers – For Information.

The paper was presented and discussed with the following salient points made:

  • Recognition was given by the PCC for the change in tone and proposed
    direction of travel presented within the paper.
  • The PCC requires consistency in terms of the data produced, and
    communications produced on the FLU, which need to be presented to the
    Minister and to the Public. A clear message needs to be presented to the
    Public as to how the new operating model will be of benefit to them.
  • The Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner (DPCC) stated his view of
    concern on the current situation.

Action 2023/38: The PCC requested an interim update on the current situation with the FLU at the next meeting of this Board.
Action 2023/39: A regular quarterly briefing to be included to WMGB, this should be shared and collaborated on with Natasha Noorbakhsh in the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) to ensure that the information is available and then supplied to the Minister as and when required.

Ref 06/18/10/2023

Transforming Road Safety – Papers – For Information.

The paper was presented and discussed.

Action 2023/40: GW is to investigate whether there is a Police prosecution policy for the speeding ticketing threshold on motorways and is to report the outcome to the DPCC.

Action 2023/41: GW is to provide additional performance information on Killed/Seriously Injured incidents linked to where speed cameras have been introduced. The updated report is to be shared with the PCC directly.

Ref 07/18/10/2023

Quarterly A&A Update – Papers – For Information.
The paper was presented and discussed.

Ref 08/18/10/2023

Change & Transformation Update – Paper – For Information.
The paper was presented and discussed.

Ref 09/18/10/2023

Assistant Chief Constables/Assistant Chief Officers Updates – Papers – For Information.

The papers were presented and discussed with the following salient points made:

Business Services Update – RHL.

The entry routes into policing were discussed. The DPCC suggested that with the temporary solution of Redditch Police Station being based within a former retail space, this might provide an opportunity to evaluate the pros and cons of such premises being used in future town centre spaces for non-custody sites.

RHL agreed this could be considered for future reference.

Commercial Services Update – RM.
The progress made against the MS365 upgrade was discussed and welcomed.

Crime & Vulnerability Update – RJ.

Local Policing/Operational Policing Support/Public contact/Prevention Portfolio Update – GW.
The forthcoming Force social media platform communications strategy was discussed.

In relation to the Community Charter, the DPCC asked if the Police have lists and the frequency of the West Mercia Parish council meetings.
Action 2023/42: GW is to provide a list of the West Mercia Parish Council meetings, and when they are attended by the Police.
Action 2023/43: GW is to ensure Jemma Towers is to be given access to the Vis a Vis App.

Ref 10/18/10/2023

AOB/Forward Plan.
Amendments to the forward plan for the November meeting were discussed, agreed, and made.

Ref 11/18/10/2023

Next Meeting.
Wednesday 22nd November 2023, 14:00hrs, Willison