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West Mercia Governance Board

Notes of Meeting

Wednesday 21st September 2022 – 14:00 – 16:30

The Study, Hindlip


  • Pippa Mills (PM) Co-Chair – Chief Constable
  • Gareth Boulton (GB) – Chief Executive Officer
  • Paul Benfield (PB) – Treasurer
  • Julian Moss (JM) – Deputy Chief Constable
  • Alex Murry (AM) Deputy Chief Constable
  • Richard Cooper (RC) – ACC C&V
  • Richard Muirhead (RM) – Director of Commercial Services
  • Rachel Jones (RJ) – ACC Local Policing
  • Rachel Hartland-Lane (RHL) – ACO
  • Alison Rixom (AR) – Secretary, OPCC


  • John Campion (JC) Co-Chair – Police and Crime Commissioner
  • Rachael Thorold (RT) – Notetaker, OPCC


Ref 01/21/09/2022

Attendance and apologises as above.

Ref 02/21/09/2022

Minutes and action updates for the meeting held on the 17th August 2022 – (for Agreement) (paper).

CC asked for and Amendment to Page 3 – Item 07A/17/08/2022 – 2022 Pay Award Cost Pressure – last paragraph – change the word required to welcomed.

Decision: The minutes for August were otherwise approved.

Action updates: Refer to the spreadsheet for updates.

CC requested that action 2022/27 be reinstated back onto the action tracker to ensure that the outcome of the strategic Commissioning meeting is captured and reported back to WMGB.

The following actions were agreed as completed and can be closed at the September meeting.

Reference – 2022/35, 2022/37 & 2022/38

Ref 03/21/09/2022

Re-joiners Scheme – for information (Paper).

The paper was circulated and discussed.

  • The scheme was being developed nationally to ensure Forces can retain skills and Officers as part of the National Uplift programme.  The scheme seeks to attract people who have retired to return to the service. 
  • Paper agreed at Exec Board and the team are progressing it with aim for it to be up and running by end of the month.
  • The scheme will be monitored and kept under review to ensure that it meets business need and to identify when it is appropriate to close the scheme.
  • Seen as a good initiative with a limited budget impact and training requirements. Also, there is no cost of taking their pension for the Force as different legislation is in place.
  • A question was asked if the Scheme was open to PC’s, Sgt’s and DS’s and if they leave could they come back in their previous role or would it be a new role.  It was confirmed that there was flexibility in the scheme but that the development of the scheme criteria would clarify what roles and remuneration returns would be entitled to.
  • A question was asked whether the scheme only applies to West Mercia Officers or open to Officers from other Forces.  It was stated that targeting of West Mercia Officers who retired 6 months ago initially, with options to look at wider recruitment under this scheme if needed.
  • Action:  RHL to produce a scoping document to go to the next COM meeting.

Ref 04/21/09/2022

Money Matters Monthly Report – for info (Paper)

The report was circulated, discussed, and noted.

It was clarified that this report was purely Force related.

  • The impact of the Police and Staff Pay Award has increased the projected overspend from £1.8m to £2.4m. The plan to manage recruitment is seeing a positive benefit to the budget position and is felt to be an appropriate response to manage the current budget pressures. The plan is to continue with the approach to control the impact of the pay award.
  • Savings plan continues to be closely monitored, with an additional £28k of savings identified in month. A full report will be provided in the Q2 report
  • Investment Plans – Road Safety investment is approved and being implemented. As we are already 6 months into the year, the in year benefit realisation will be proportional compared to the original business case.
  • It was noted that he actions taken since the previous months Money Matters report had resulted in a improvement in the budget deficit position. It was stated that this had been discussed with the PCC and that he was reassured to see this improvement and agreed that at this stage the actions of the Force were appropriate.

Ref 05/21/09/2022

West Mercia’s Response to IITCSE recommendations – for information (Papers).

The report was circulated and discussed.

  • Contributions to the report have been from both Crime and Vulnerability and Local Policing.
  • The requirement for an Operations Group has been established.
  • Reports on progress and an Action Plan has been included. A highlight report will be produced bi-monthly and one is due next week to provide oversight.
  • Strategic Planning and insight will be reviewed by an Operational group.
  • After a conversation with D. Sidaway (TWC CEO) engagement has been made with 3 survivors who have agreed to engage with and support the collective response from partners.
  • This report provides the initial benchmark of where the Force is.

Questions raised.

  • GB – voice of survivors has been covered but having spoken with Telford and Wrekin there is a concern around their approach in fully designing an approach for partners, without having engaged sufficiently with partners around co-design. Are you happy that the Force has had the right level and volume of engagement?  It was confirmed that yes, the right engagement was in place and the Strategic Group will open up this conversation further.
  • GB – There is a reference that this is Force wide in respect of implementation of learning. This principle is welcome, and is replicated in the OPCC.

Ref 06/21/09/2022

OPCC Response to IITCSE Recommendations – for information (Paper)

The report was circulated and discussed.

  • Report has been developed by the OPCC team.
  • 2 recommendations from the IITCSE report were specifically for the OPCC, however this report considers role that the PCC could have in providing oversight and leadership in relation to all the recommendations in the report.

CC mentioned that an action around the approach to Strategic Commissioning had been removed from action tracker. This would be important in how the force influence the recommendation relating to the review of Branch provision (see above reinstatement of action 2022/27 – DCC to lead on this with the OPCC).

Ref 07/21/09/2022

ACC/ACO Update – for information and discussion (Papers)

The report was circulated and discussed.

Business Services – RHL

  • The paper was presented by RHL.
  • PB queried whether the additional investment on Brownfield was the right strategy given the desire to move to Greenfield delivery.  It was noted that this is part of the infrastructure and that reach back to brownfield needs to be maintained which requires investment. RM confirmed that a meeting is scheduled to look at the level of investment and ensure that options on how far we invest
  • GB asked about the Telematics System and whether it was delivering the expected outputs.  It was confirmed that it was. The data from the system will be collated and reported through the Portfolio Board. Whilst there are several benefits to the system the key part is the data on fleet usage is and demonstrating that we have the optimum fleet.  CC asked whether we were building evidence against it if comparisons can be drawn from other Forces.  It was problematic as it is difficult to ensure consistent results as Forces operate differently. 

ACC Cooper

The report was presented by ACC Cooper

ACC Jones

  • The report was presented by ACC Jones.
  • PB asked about recent low pass rate on Firearms Training and whether the lack of a facility was a factor, which reinforces the Business Case for the force having its own Firearms Range. The answer from the CC was that it hadn’t been a factor.

Ref 08/21/09/2022

WMGB Thematic Paper on Inclusion – (Paper)

The Powerpoint presentation was circulated prior to the meeting.

Jim Baker and Natasha Noorbakhsh attended the meeting to provide an overview via a PowerPoint presentation.

Key Questions / Themes from the task briefing…

  • How we ensure appropriate Staff and Public engagement to better inform policy decisions
  • How we will influence change for the better (internally and externally)
  • How inclusion will improve staff and public confidence
  • What mechanisms we could use or implement for sharing insight and data about our diverse communities from our respective engagement activities

Discussion took place within the group, key areas shown below.

  • The CC said that the paper provided a good challenge to consider whether West Mercia are inclusive organisations. CC was keen to consider how the current momentum is kept going, making sure that the force and PCC’s office are transparent and using data effectively.
  • Recognised a need to understand what training is available for Officers.  All PDRs now include an objective related to the new ‘Inclusive’ value with the focus on simple behaviours that will transform the workforce. 
  • Need to give Officers/staff the confidence to have conversations. Encouraging shared experiences could be an impactive way of raising awareness of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI)rather than just reliance on having training courses. Potential to do this through a Star Chamber.
  • The paper identified that the Force and OPCC structures for engagement are different. The PCC’s office has a Communication & Engagement function, whereas Communications and Engagement sit across 2 different central departments in the Force.  This should be considered when determining how the 2 organisations share insights from engagement activity.
  • There are clear aspirations around DEI, but it was not clear if the strategic approach was a reality in all parts of the business, e.g. within recruitment. It should be an integral part of all recruitment campaigns. A lot of work has been undertaken with the University with recruitment through uplift. Is this approach reflected within all recruitment that is undertaken. 
  • It was noted that Equity was not an area of focus within the presentation, and the tendency for individuals to use many terms interchangeably. Discussion took place about how to define Equity and whether this is the external focus and priority whereas inclusivity is predominantly an internal focus.

Next steps

  • The discussions from WMGB will inform the Chief’s next Inclusion Strategy Board in October.  The new governance arrangements that underpin the Chief’s board will focus on improving data quality and understanding of DEI issues, as well as ensuring DEI is everyone’s business.
  • CC advised that the Plan on a Page follow up will be used to revisit personal pledges that were made by officers and staff in relation to Inclusion.  Will capture challenges, have workshop where we share incidents and experiences.

Expressions of thanks and appreciation were given to JB and NN for a detailed piece of work.

Ref 09/21/09/2022

Change & Transformation update – for info (Paper)

The paper was circulated and discussed.

It was noted that a report was not provided for the meeting.

Ref 10/21/09/2022


CC expressed her thanks and appreciation for all his work and good wishes to JM.

Ref 11/21/09/2022

Date of next meeting.

Wednesday 19th October 2022, 14:00 hrs, Allsop Room, Hindlip

Thematic area:

Deep Dive: –

OOCD/Criminal Justice/Sexual Violence

Money Matters Q2.