House of Lords criticise plans to transfer West Midlands PCC powers to Mayor - The Solihull Observer

House of Lords criticise plans to transfer West Midlands PCC powers to Mayor

Solihull Editorial 6th Mar, 2024   0

A HOUSE of Lords cross-party committee has criticised the way the Home Office has approached the proposed transfer of Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) powers to the Mayor in the West Midlands.

The Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee said it believes that elections are potentially undermined by the poor process.

Concerns expressed by the Committee included: the Order had been laid before Parliament less than the minimum six months in advance of the next election on May 2.

It also hit out at the Home Office’s processes in regards to the public consultation, required by law, was not conducted before initial decisions were made – which has lead to the PCC, Simon Foster, applying for a judicial review of the order.

The committee also noted weaknesses in the information provided, the results of the consultation – in which a majority of respondents who expressed a view opposed the transfer – were not reported.

The Committee concluded: “The way the Home Office has approached this change has been entirely unsatisfactory and we have written to the Department to seek an explanation for the flaws in the process of developing this legislation, including overlooking the need for a consultation.”

The Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster said: “The House of Lords has issued this damning indictment.

“This hostile takeover by the Mayor will mean more cuts, more chaos and more crime.

“The Mayor is in denial of the damage his government has inflicted on policing.

“Enough is enough. In the interests of democracy, the rule of law, due process and the rights of the people I represent, I call on the Mayor and the Home Secretary to abandon this cynical, divisive and undemocratic power grab.”

A spokesperson for Andy Street said: “The Mayor remains laser-focussed on taking the steps necessary to bring crime down, get West Midlands Police out of special measures, and help people feel safe in the region again.

“If the PCC had been focussing on that then crime wouldn’t have doubled in eight years and there wouldn’t be this need for a change of governance.”

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