The Cabinet was invited to receive the recommendations from the Resources and Delivering Value Scrutiny Board on the proposed Mayoral WMCA PCC governance model. The WMCA Board had asked Constituent Authorities to consider the proposals and provide feedback prior to the commencement of a public consultation exercise.
The Leader reminded Members that as part of the second Devolution Deal for the West Midlands “the government, the CA and PCC would work together to agree a detailed governance model and legislative timetable for incorporating the role and power of the Police and Crime Commissioner into the Mayoralty, with a view to electing the first Mayor with these powers in 2020”. Work on this had been progressed and the WMCA Board on 20 July agreed to “the development of a Governance Review and Scheme to enable the proposed amalgamation of the functions of the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner into the Mayoralty for the elections to be held in 2020”.
The CA had developed a governance review and scheme identifying the rationale for the transfer of the PCC function into the CA, which they were seeking Constituent Authorities views on, prior to a period of public consultation. The report before Members set out the rationale, the proposal and the next steps, which included a timetable.
At this stage the Council was not being asked to provide formal consent to the transfer of PCC functions into the CA, but were being provided with an opportunity to comment on the proposals and timescales.
Cabinet was advised that the Resources and Delivering Value Scrutiny Board on the 1 November had made the following recommendation:
The Resources and Delivering Value Scrutiny Board endorsed the Governance Review and Scheme for the proposed Mayoral WMCA PCC governance model and requested for the following observations and recommendations to be made to Full Cabinet
(i) The clear accountability provided by the proposed shift to a Mayoral PCC model is welcomed, as it offers the public one clear role accountable for a wide range of functions currently covered by both the Mayor and PCC.
(ii) The potential for collaboration across a range of services to the public, currently covered by the separate Mayoral and PCC roles, is also welcomed. Members also requested for existing examples of good practice to be progressed further under a Mayoral PCC model, in particular the focus upon Mental Health support and the reform of the criminal justice system.
(iii) That the digital opportunities, offered through the role-out of 5G Technology, continue to be actively pursued under any Mayoral PCC model, to enable on-going improvement of public service delivery.
(iv) That an existing resident of the West Midlands, with clear connections to the local area, be appointed to the proposed role of Deputy Mayor for Police and Crime.
(v) That guarantees are provided that key PCC functions in regards to finance, assets, borrowing and contracts remained ring-fenced and distinct from wider WMCA activities.
That the recommendations from the Resources and Delivering Value Scrutiny Board be noted, as well as the proposals for a Mayoral WMCA PCC Governance model as detailed in the report.