Transfer of police oversight powers takes a step forward

Simon Foster

Plans to transfer the oversight of the local police force in the West Midlands from the Police and Crime Commissioner to the Mayor’s office have moved a step closer.

Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street.

Conservative Mayor Andy Street has now given his formal consent to the move, which would not take place until after the mayoral and PCC elections on May 2. Labour’s candidate for mayor is Richard Parker, after PCC Simon Foster failed to become the party’s candidate. 

Home Secretary James Cleverly agreed to the transfer on December 6 but then began a six-week consultation with the public on December 21. Now the decision has been handed back to parliament. 

Foster asked Mayor Andy Street to publicly debate with him, regarding his “hostile takeover” of power.

He also wrote to Cleverly to object to “the Mayor’s hostile takeover”.

At the time, he said: “There is no local democratic support for this cynical and divisive power grab. The Mayor is attempting to achieve through the backdoor, what his Party have been incapable of achieving through the ballot box.”

If the roles merge, the West Midlands Police would receive up to £789.4m, a 6.8% increase in cash terms compared to last year.

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