West Mercia Governance Board
Notes of Meeting
Wednesday 22 February 2023 – 14:00-17:00
The Willison Room, Hindlip
- John Campion (JC) Chair – Police & Crime Commissioner
- Pippa Mills (PM) – Chief Constable
- Marc Bayliss (MB) – Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner
- Richard Muirhead (RM) – Director of Commercial Services
- Richard Cooper (RC) – Assistant Chief Constable
- Gareth Boulton (GB) – Chief Executive Officer
- Paul Benfield (PB) – Treasurer
- Lisa Blakeman (Minutes) – PA to Head of Estates, OPCC
- Rachel Hartland-Lane (RHL) – Director of Business Services
- Rachel Jones (RJ) – Assistant Chief Constable
- Tony Morriss (TM) – Deputy Chief Executive
- Alex Murray (AM) – Deputy Chief Constable
Introduction / Attendance / Apologies
Introductions were made and apologies noted.
Minutes for the meeting held on 25 January 2023
The minutes were agreed to be a true and accurate record.
The action log was reviewed and updated as required.
Op Lincoln Quarterly Update – (Paper) – For Information – RC
RC talked through the update including:
- Referring cases nearly complete.
- Now moving to corporate manslaughter investigations.
- Issue with engagement with the Health and Safety Executive which has now been escalated to senior level. Individual now embedded from the Care Quality Commission.
- A breakdown of finance and resource expenditure in included in the appendix.
JC asked for assurance regarding the victim pathway. RC gave assurance that work is being carried out with NHS England (NHSE) regarding counselling support. JC was grateful for the extra clarity and was reassured that the process was now more tightly governed.
WM Work Experience Scheme (Paper) – For Information – PM
The paper was presented by PM and discussed.
The paper and wider initiative were welcomed by OPCC colleagues.
Witness Care Officer Funding February 2023 – (Paper) For Decision – RC
The paper was presented by RC and discussed.
RC set out the total investment sought was £70,186 for a further 12 months.
PB suggested that it would be useful in future if the request has come to him first to advise if budget is available.
PB confirmed funding was available.
JC supported the request, on the understanding that work would be required in the OPCC to identify precise budget for the investment.
GB asked if this this funding would be required again next year. RC stated that it was likely that the Witness Care Unit will still be managing increased numbers of cases, but significant progress should be made and therefore funding was unlikely to be needed for a further 12 months.
DECISION – The PCC supported the request for extra funding, as per the paper.
Gender Pay Gap Report – (Paper) For Information – RM
The paper was presented by RM and discussed.
JC sought reassurance from WMP around the figures presented. RM was confident that although the figures had moved in the wrong direction, they were doing so for the right reasons, given context such as recent improvements in recruitment of female officers. In time this is expected to reduce the gender pay gap.
Money Matters (Paper) – For information – RM
The paper was presented by RM and discussed.
Reassurance was sought by JC around outturn. RM was confident that projected outturn remained valid.
Pay Award Planning update (Paper) – For Information – RM / PB
The paper was presented by RM and discussed. The discussion included:
- Pay award assumptions included in paper.
- Potential for Government to fund pay awards for above budgeted allocations.
JC set out his position, that he had budgeted for a 2% pay award, as per national guidance, with a further 1% in reserves. JC was willing to fund any award above 5%, but WMP would be required to fund anything between 3% and 5% from existing budgets.
RM set out his concern that this would, depending on pay award outcomes, potentially require WMP to find up to a further £2.6m of in year savings.
JC stated that the budget was not open ended. He and local communities had continued to back WMP throughout the budget setting process, but resources are finite for both him as Commissioner and the public.
PM stated that she had significant concerns around the potential implications should WMP have to achieve further significant in-year savings of up to £2.6m in 2023/24, and the impact this would have on delivery of key services to local communities.
JC stated that he could not allow PM’s position to sit on record without response. JC revoked his previous position and asked that WMP set out the challenges the pay award could present in 2023/24, how these might be met, and potential impact on services to the public. It was agreed that this work would be undertaken and provided to the PCC in quick time. When this information is known to all parties, the issue could be looked at again in full consideration of all relevant context.
Safer Communities Project Rollout (Paper) – For Information – GB
The paper was presented by GB and discussed.
PM confirmed that RJ would be the lead for the Force. The Force need to look how it will be commissioned. GB explained that each area would be underpinned by their own partnership agreement collectively.
It was agreed that WMP needs to be involved and engaged with partners as early as possible in the process, and throughout.
ACTION – PM explained that she is having the conversation where it sits with RJ and the wider WMP team. This to be clarified in due course via RJ or PM to GB.
ACC/ACO/RM Update – For information and discussion
Crime & Vulnerability Update – RC
LP/OPS/Public contact/Prevention Portfolio Update
Commercial Services Update
The papers were presented and discussed by RC, RM and PM.
Any other business
There was no other business raised.
Wednesday 22nd March 2023, 14:00hrs, Willison Room, Hindlip