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West Mercia Governance Board

Notes of Meeting

Wednesday 20th September 2023, 14:00 – 17:00

Allsopp Room, Hindlip


John Campion (JC), Chair, Police and Crime Commissioner

Marc Bayliss (MB), Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner

Gareth Boulton (GB), Chief Executive Officer

Paul Benfield (PB), Treasurer

Pippa Mills (PM), Chief Constable

Richard Muirhead (RM), Director of Commercial Services

Richard Cooper (RC), Assistant Chief Constable, Crime & Vulnerability

Rachel Hartland-Lane (RHL), Director of Business Services

Rachel Jones (RJ), Assistant Chief Constable, Local Policing

Rachael Thorold, Secretary


Alex Murray (AM), Deputy Chief Constable

Tony Morriss (TM), Deputy Chief Executive Officer


Ref 01/20/09/2023

Introduction / Attendance / Apologies.
Introductions were made and apologies noted.

Ref 02/20/09/2023

Minutes and Action Log for the meeting held on 23rd August 2023.
The minutes were recorded as an accurate record apart from;

Page 2 – Under the item Provision of CED training, staffing and devices within WMP – Should read “It was stated that the Force were temporarily using 4 current vacant firearms Officer (AFO) posts for this FY”. And not as stated.

Page 3 – Under the item Youth engagement – provision – should read “Management of Steer Clear will transfer to the OPCC.” And not as stated.

Page 4 – The Item Money Matters was for decision, and not as stated.

The action log was updated accordingly.

Ref 03/20/09/2023

Security Update – Paper – For Information.
The paper was presented discussed and noted.

  • The DPCC asked if HWFRS are sighted on the same information and satisfied with the recently introduced security measures. Confirmed this was the case.
  • Recommendations and suggestions are supported by the PCC, with a commitment that the OPCC will work alongside the Force as appropriate to ensure required improvements are made.
  • The PCC is fully supportive of standardising the security/building access
    arrangements main access points of the stations across West Mercia.
  • The DPCC asked what the arrangements are for tailgating under the new PIN
    access process, as the change does not in itself tackle the issue. Agreement from RC that is the case. The purpose of the PIN change is also around changing behaviours and thinking for colleagues, increasing the presence / status of security in peoples’ minds.

Ref 04/20/09/2023

Dog Handler Allowance – Paper – For Decision.
The paper was presented and discussed.

The PCC was supportive of the premise of the paper and the recommendation put forward, but was of the view that the matter and associated budget was consented to West Mercia Police via the Scheme of Corporate Governance.

WMP position that all resources within the existing consent have been allocated / committed. This position will be reviewed by WMP. WMP view that the additional request made would be above and beyond what is consented and therefore requires PCC approval as additional capital spend.

Decision: PCC position that he supports the option recommended in the paper by WMP, but does not support the release of further capital spend. PCC expectation that the cost is managed by WMP within existing budget and consents.

Ref 05/20/09/2023

Public Contact Business Case – Paper – For Decision.
The paper was presented and discussed.

The PCC felt the paper was unclear and felt that further information in respect of a more comprehensive business case was required in order to approve the requested funding.

WMP confirmed that the further detail is held and can be presented to the PCC to review the position.

Decision: The request as per the paper was not supported. Further clarification to follow from WMP with a view to resubmitting to the PCC.

Ref 06/20/09/2023

DFT Transformation Programme – Paper – For Decision.
The paper was presented and discussed.

WMP set out the operational requirement around the investment enabling the overall DFT programme. It was clarified (from prior conversations) that the investment would not enable any related savings / efficiencies.

Decision: The recommendations as set out were supported.

Ref 07/20/09/2023

FLU Update September 2023 – Paper – For Information.
The paper was presented and discussed.

  • The PCC set out his support for additional FLU funding to be used for the vehicles to be used by Force FEOs, rather than for other purposes stated.
  • The PCC and DPCC raised concerns over FLU performance in respect of waiting times and backlogs. The PCC was concerned that the intent of the FLU decision notice (and associated investment) was not being delivered in respect of reducing waiting lists. The DPCC felt that waiting times now appeared to be approaching a full year in some cases, which is not acceptable to local communities.
  • RJ set out her view that the improvements set out in the previous decision notice were predicated on the environment at the time and since that time workloads on the FLU have increased significantly due to additional checks required. Improvements were due to be delivered towards Q4 and the ability of FEOs to get out and conduct necessary checks would facilitate improvements. It is also acknowledged that further review and resource into the FLU was required and proposals would be forthcoming.

Offer from RJ to provide further context and information to PCC outside of meeting in relation to outcomes from previous PCC decision notice. This offer was accepted.

Ref 08/20/09/2023

Safer Communities update – Paper – For Information.
The paper was presented and discussed.

  • The PCC sought clarification around project closure discussions. Confirmed that some have been discussed, some have not, and there is a hope that some projects prove so successful they are not closed.

Clarified that there are no resourcing implications in respect of financial management, but partners will need to ensure analyst support.

  • Clarification to query from Chief Constable around Telford & Wrekin project. GB confirmed it is intended to become a three-way partnership moving forward, involving West Mercia Police.

Ref 09/20/09/2023

Money Matters – Paper – For Decision.
The paper was presented and discussed.

Decision: The virements recommendation as set out was supported in the paper.

Ref 10/20/09/2023

Family Matters – Paper – For Decision.
The paper was presented discussed and supported.

Decision: The recommendation as set out was supported. Will now progress to OPCC commissioning processes.

Ref 11/20/09/2023

ACC/ACO Directorate Updates – (Papers).
The papers were presented discussed and noted.

Business Services Update – RHL.

  • This month saw the highest intake of new students West Mercia has seen.
  • The Specials/PCSO courses will be delayed.
  • The PCC expressed concern on the low level in the number of PCSOs. As
    the interest level is lower than anticipated, delaying the next course is
    aimed at ensuring the course has sufficient numbers to be viable.
  • The PCC sought reassurance there will be the same innovative attraction
    methodology will be given aimed at the PCSOs.
    Action 2023/34: RHL is to provide a briefing to the PCC on the PCSO
    recruitment campaign.
  • It is anticipated the target level of Special Constables will be met.

Crime & Vulnerability Update – RC.

  • Efforts made on Op Columbia were acknowledged and commended.

Local Policing/OPS/Public contact/Prevention Portfolio Update – PM.

Commercial Services Update – RM.

  • Efforts made by the Digital Services Team on the MS365 project were

Ref 12/20/09/2023

AOB/Forward Plan.
None raised.

Ref 13/20/09/2023

Next Meeting.
Wednesday 18th October 2023, 14:00hrs, Willison Room