Agenda and minutes

Venue: Meeting Room A, Town Hall, Blackburn

Contact: Mike Neville  Tel: 01772 533431, Email:

No. Item

Also in attendance


·  Mr I Fisher, County Secretary and Solicitor - Lancashire County Council

·  Mr R Jones, Assistant County Secretary - Lancashire County Council

·  Mr G Graham, Deputy County Treasurer - Lancashire County Council

·  Mr C Grunshaw, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire.

·  Ms M Carruthers-Watt, Chief Executive - Office of the PCC.

·  Ms L Kitto, Chief Finance Officer - Office of the PCC.





Apologies for absence were presented on behalf of Councillor D Smith (Lancaster) and Councillor M Brindle (Burnley) and were received from Councillor D Eaves (Fylde).


Minutes of the Last Meeting pdf icon PDF 38 KB


Resolved: That the Minutes of the meeting held on the 17th December 2012 are confirmed as an accurate record and signed by the Chair.


Report from the Police and Crime Commissioner pdf icon PDF 39 KB


The Commissioner presented a report which summarised the formal decisions and key activities undertaken between the 22nd November 2012 and 14th January 2013.


He reported that the small team who had previously managed the business of the Police Authority had transferred to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and that since the election in November he had reviewed what support was needed to enable him to fulfil his wider role and deliver his priorities. As a result a Deputy Commissioner had been appointed, which the Panel had approved at the previous meeting.


The Commissioner also reported that he had agreed with the Chief Constable to appoint a joint Audit Committee on an interim basis and had seconded an Assistant Chief Executive from the Probation Service and appointed three Assistant Commissioners on an interim basis. 


The Commissioner informed the Panel that with the range of skills, knowledge and expertise that his new team provided he would be able to deliver on the priorities and pledges which he had made.


In considering the report the following points were raised by members of the Panel.


·  Further information was requested regarding the additional contributions from revenue which the Commissioner had agreed in order to fund particular items in the 2012/13 capital programme which had been identified during the course of the year. In response the Commissioner reported that additional contributions had been made in relation to the following items.

£18,000 – Desktop Replacement for the central ticket office
£202,000 – Miscellaneous minor works including Wyre Operating Centre (£37,000), Morecambe Police Station conversion of custody/canteen area (£15,000) and Moor Farm car park and garages (150,000)
£430,000 - vehicle replacement programme
£30,000  – purchase of counter terrorism equipment  

·  Clarification was sought in relation to the costs of the restructured Commissioners support team and how this would be met from within existing budgets.

The Commissioner reported that
the total budget available for both the staff and members of the previous Police Authority had been £788,000 per annum and whilst the final costs of the new arrangements were still being evaluated he anticipated that the cost of all new posts would be met from within the existing budget and would not add any further pressure on the Police and Crime budget. 

It was also noted that the Assistant Chief Executive and three Assistant Commissioners who had been appointed on an interim basis would all be accountable to the Chief Executive within the Office of the PCC. 


·  In response to a query regarding engagement with the public the Commissioner reported that since the election in November he had met with a number of Leaders of local authorities across the County and Community Safety/Criminal Justice partners. He added that a number of initiatives were being pursued in order to identify public priorities and he intended to continue to consult widely with local communities. 

It was also noted that greater emphasis was being placed on casework as the Office of the PCC had received 300 contacts since  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Police and Crime Commissioners Budget 2013/14 pdf icon PDF 77 KB


The Commissioner presented a report on the proposed budget for 2013/14 and informed the meeting that in order to ensure a stable resource base was provided over the coming year, and that the Constabulary had the resources needed to continue to deliver high quality services he proposed to increase council tax by 2% which for an average Band 'D' property would increase the annual precept by approximately £3 from £149.93 in 2012/13 to £152.93 in 2013/14.


The Commissioner also reported that he intended to reject the offer of a two year only 1% Government grant for freezing the policing precept, as he  believed that acceptance of such a grant would hurt the police service in the long term by storing up greater financial pressures for the future.


Mrs Kitto, Chief Finance Officer from the Office of the PCC, outlined the contents of the proposed budget and reminded the Panel that there were still a number of uncertainties regarding funding and final council tax base figures and clarification was being sought from the Home Office, local authorities and other partners in order that the budget could be finalised.


The Panel was informed that £31.3m of savings had already been delivered in the first two financial years of the current Comprehensive Spending Review and that a further £6.4m would be delivered in 2013/14 and that these had been factored into the overall 2013/14 budget proposals.  With regard to the future it was noted that further savings of £22m would be required between 2014/15 and 2016/17, of which £2m had already been identified. In total £60m of savings, representing more than 20% of the budget, would be required between 2011/12 and 2016/17.


When considering the proposed budget the following points were raised by members of the Panel.


·  With regard to the efficiency savings set out in the report it was suggested that clarification was needed as to how the savings were divided between operational and 'back office' budgets.

In response the Chief Executive informed the meeting that in view of the small number of staff employed by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner  certain functions such as Human Resources or legal advice were provided by the constabulary for both the Office of the PCC and Lancashire Constabulary.  The Chief Executive also stated that some functions were carried out by third party organisations under shared service or collaboration agreements.  It was also reported that any further efficiencies which were identified by the ongoing review of management costs would be applied to both the Office of the PCC and the Constabulary. 

·  In view of the need to secure further savings in the future it was suggested that consideration be given to 'back office' support functions being provided by other local authorities and the Commissioner acknowledged that this was something which could be explored.

·  In response to a suggestion that more information be provided regarding the separation of costs associated with the Constabulary/Office of the PCC the Commissioner informed the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Urgent Business

An item of urgent business may only be considered under this heading where, by reason of special circumstances to be recorded in the Minutes, the Chairman of the meeting is of the opinion that the item should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency. Wherever possible, the Secretary to the Panel should be given advance warning of any Member's intention to raise a matter under this heading.


There were no items of urgent business for discussion at the meeting.


Date of Next Meeting

The next scheduled meeting of the Police and Crime Panel will be held at 6.30pm on the 12th February 2013 in Cabinet Room 'C' at County Hall, Preston.


It was noted that the next scheduled meeting would be held at 6.30pm on the 12th February 2013 in Cabinet Room 'C' at County Hall, Preston.