PCC calls on West Midlands Mayor or withdraw power transfer request - The Solihull Observer

PCC calls on West Midlands Mayor or withdraw power transfer request

Solihull Editorial 14th Dec, 2023   0

THE POWER struggle between the West Midlands Mayor and the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has ramped up another gear.

The PCC, Simon Foster, has threatened to take the Mayor, Andy Street, to court over plans to scrap his job and transfer its powers to the Mayor’s office.

This comes after the Home Secretary, James Cleverly, approved plans for the Conservative Mayor to take over the role at next year’s May election.

Mr Foster says if the merger plans don’t stop he will seek a judicial review – claiming the Mayor may have acted unlawfully.

PCC Foster has urged Mayor Street and the government to abandon their hostile takeover plans.

The Labour PCC said: “I have repeatedly advised Mayor Street not to proceed with this cynical, divisive and undemocratic power grab.

“Sadly, the Mayor has refused to listen. Now it turns out that the Mayor may have made the decision unlawfully. He has left me no alternative, but to begin legal proceedings.

“The Mayor and the government must act in accordance with the law. It is the very least that the public expect and I intend to ensure that is exactly what happens.

“It is, however, not too late. The Mayor can withdraw his request to transfer the powers of the PCC to the Mayoralty in May.

“I trust that is exactly what he will choose to do.”

The transfer of powers has been made possible under the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act, allowing regional mayors to request the powers be transferred to their offices.

On X, formerly Twitter, Mr Street said: “My request for the Mayor to take on Police & Crime Commissioner powers from May has been agreed by the Home Secretary tonight.

“Crime has doubled in 8 years and our force is now in special measures. We cannot go on like this.

“I’ll set out my plan of action in due course.”

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