Agenda and minutes

Shadow, Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Panel - Thursday 18th October, 2012 10.00 am

Venue: Room 0.1a - Huntingdonshire District Council. View directions

Contact: Alex Daynes, 01733 452447  Email:

Note: Private meeting 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


No apologies were received.


Declarations of Interest


Councillor Wilkins declared an interest as a current member of the Police Authority and was also an agent for a candidate in the forthcoming election.


Minutes of the Meeting held 12 September 2012 pdf icon PDF 71 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 12 September 2012 were agreed as an accurate record.


The need for a ‘Matter Arising’ type item would be considered going forward.


Summary of Progress (Dorothy Gregson and Adrian Chapman) pdf icon PDF 74 KB


Dorothy Gregson introduced a report providing an overview of progress made by the Authority and Constabulary on key issues and topics including:


  • Budget preparation;
  • Role changes within the Authority and the Constabulary including Operation ReDesign; and
  • Collaboration with other Constabularies.


Comments and responses to questions included:


  • The tight timescale of decision making needed for setting the Police and Crime Plan and Budget will provide a challenge to officers;
  • Public engagement was considered to be an important issue for the Constabulary, this included the Neighbourhood Panels;
  • The Commissioner’s engagement with communities would need to be determined following the election and the approach was expected to be included in the Police and Crime Plan;
  • A workforce plan from the Constabulary would include provision of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs);
  • Ring-fencing of the funding for PCSOs was being removed;
  • The level of precept from local authorities to the constabulary was not yet known;
  • Rural and low crime areas rely on the PCSOs for a police presence;
  • Neighbourhood panels were important for public engagement;
  • Some excess buildings were in the Constabulary’s estate – future use still to be determined;
  • Any excess buildings should be used more effectively and efficiently;
  • Should target resources at people who commit crimes to reduce reoffending; and
  • A reduction in recent crime figures could mean reassessing priorities.




1.            Adrian Chapman to investigate possibility of site visits to excess estate buildings; and

2.            The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) to be referred to as ‘the Commissioner’ to avoid confusion with Peterborough City Council (PCC).


First 100 Days - decisions for commissioner (Dorothy Gregson) pdf icon PDF 85 KB


Dorothy Gregson introduced a report informing the Panel of the key decisions required to be taken by the Police and Crime Commissioner between their election on 15 November and 31 March 2013 including:


  • Medium Term Financial Plan 2013-17;
  • Police and Crime Objectives;
  • Performance Framework for 2013-14;
  • Engagement processes; and
  • Governance Frameworks.


Comments and responses to questions included:


  • Any new staff the Commissioner may wish to employ would need to be approved of and recruited through normal recruitment channels;
  • Wording of the declaration of acceptance to be circulated to Members;
  • ‘Partners’ includes responsible authorities such as probation services, members of public, victims groups and businesses;
  • A glossary of terminology would be useful;
  • An officer would assist the Commissioner in liaising with partners and a working group would continue after the election;
  • Limited time available to scrutinise the budget, a date for a February meeting of the Panel needs to be agreed;
  • Submission times of other non-budget documents and agreements would be determined by the Commissioner.




1.             Circulate wording of the declaration of acceptance;

2.             Produce Glossary of terminology; and

3.             Set date for February meeting to scrutinise the budget.


Complaints Procedure (Kim Sawyer) pdf icon PDF 57 KB


Kim Sawyer introduced a report setting out the process for dealing with complaints made against the Police and Crime Commissioner and asked the Panel to consider whether it would request the Chief Executive to the Commissioner to undertake the initial review of complaints, whether to establish a sub-committee to consider complaints and to agree to receive the agreed procedures at a future meeting.


Comments and responses to questions included:


  • Regulations ensured the Commissioner’s Chief Executive would be a politically restricted post;
  • Any risk of a politically appointed Chief Executive would lead to an impartial process;
  • It was the Panel’s responsibility to consider any complaints made against the Commissioner;
  • The Chief Executive could sift any minor or vexatious complaints before consideration by the Panel;
  • Need to keep an overview of any complaints received;
  • A sub-panel for complaints would ensure the Panel would not be inundated with complaints work;
  • Cannot impose sanctions so there would be a limited response available to any complaint;
  • Chief Executive was also the Motoring Officer;
  • A sifting process was favoured;
  • A summary report of all the complaints would be regularly submitted to the Panel.


Councillor McGuire proposed that the first recommendation in the report, to allow the Chief Executive to carry out the initial sift of complaints, be approved.  This was seconded by Councillor Curtis and following a vote (7 for and 2 against) it was resolved that:


(1)   An initial view would be sought from the Commissioner, once appointed, to agree that all complaints concerning the Commissioner should be initially assessed by the Chief Executive to the Commissioner.


The Panel further agreed that:


(2)   The informal resolution of complaints would be delegated to a sub-committee or single Panel member; and

(3)   A further report would be submitted to the first formal meeting of the Panel outlining the procedures for dealing with resolution of complaints.




Produce procedure for handling of complaints for submission in January.


Co-opted Members - update (Adrian Chapman) pdf icon PDF 188 KB


Adrian Chapman introduced a report providing an update on the progress made towards recruiting two independent co-opted members of the Police and Crime Panel including that 19 recruitment packs had been issued so far and in general were for independent, community representatives or partner representatives.


Comments and responses to questions included:


  • A summary of each applicant will be submitted to the interview panel;
  • £920 each was available to cover expenses for the co-opted members;
  • Councillors currently received no additional remuneration for being on the Panel;
  • A second press release was going to be issued; and
  • Final co-optees may need to be in place before the election to enable the full Panel to undertake any confirmation of deputies etc that may take place soon after the election.




Agree the new co-opted members at the first formal meeting of the Panel.


Scrutiny Options (Mike Davey/Kim Sawyer) pdf icon PDF 94 KB

Additional documents:


Mike Davey introduced a report providing the panel with potential options for ensuring effective scrutiny arrangements across and between agencies within Cambridgeshire.


          Comments and questions included:


  • Need to ensure scrutiny committees have opportunity to refer issues to the Panel;
  • Partnership working to strengthen the scrutiny function could be explored going forward;
  • Specific issues relating to one area should be considered by that council’s scrutiny;
  • Some issue may cross over to other Authorities.




The Panel agreed to retain the status quo with a view to reviewing the arrangements after six months.



Councillor Curtis left the meeting.



Ambition of the Panel (Liz Bisset and Mike Davey)


Liz Bisset circulated a guide to scrutiny for police and crime panels produced by the Local Government Association for consideration and comment including:


  • Consideration of regular and any extra meetings required;
  • Requesting the Commissioner attend the meetings; and
  • Use of the available budget for the Panel.




1.             Provide an update paper at the next meeting;

2.             Produce a calendar of events and related work.


Police and Crime Commissioner Budget (Dorothy Gregson and John Hummerson) pdf icon PDF 40 KB

Additional documents:


Dorothy Gregson and John Hummersone introduced a report introducing the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) for the four year period 2013/14 to 2016/17 including:


·         All income would be under the control of the Commissioner;

·         No ring fenced PCSO funding;

·         More emphasis on collaborative work with other constabularies for increased cost savings;

·         Some options were needed for the new Commissioner to choose from;

·         Capital pressures includes ICT provision; and

·         New funding streams need to be indentified.


Comments and responses to questions included:


  • Need to show impact and how to address savings options in terms other than loss of officers - show how to manage the budget gap not what could be lost;
  • The timeline for approval of the budget could be shortened if all parties agree but could be pushed into March if the first budget is rejected; and
  • Council tax freeze options would affect the budget available.




1.             Set February meeting date for scrutiny of the budget for the week of 4 February 2013; and

2.             Set a second provisional meeting date in the week of 18 February 2013.


Publicity (Mike Davey)

(a)                      public meetings

(b)                      public agendas

(c)                      papers from other sessions


Mike Davey requested the panel consider whether to continue to meet in private, to publish the meeting papers and whether papers from other training sessions should be made available to the public.


Comments and responses to questions included:


·         Previous decision to meet in private whilst a Shadow Panel should remain;

·         Should not need a Freedom of Information request to access papers for the meeting;

·         Already decided to meet in private to begin with;

·         Training session documents were not produced by the Panel so would not determine the publication of those.




1.             The Panel agreed to continue to meet, when as a Shadow Panel, in private; and

2.             The Panel agreed that all previous agenda documents and future agenda documents would be publicly available.


Agenda Plan pdf icon PDF 41 KB


The Panel received the agenda plan.


Date of the Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 21 November at 1pm in the Civic Suite (Pathfinder House)


The date of the next meeting would be 21 November and would be held at 1pm at Pathfinder House.