RESIDENTS are being urged to have their say on whether the West Midlands Mayor should take over the powers of the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).
The consultation has been announced by the Government following a request by Mayor, Andy Street, to take over the powers from the PCC, Simon Foster, in May.
If a transfer took place, the Mayor’s PCC functions would include setting a police and crime plan for the West Midlands, setting the police budget and providing and commissioning services for victims and vulnerable people.
Mr Foster said: “I have forced the Mayor and the Home Secretary into a humiliating climb down, as a consequence of the legal action I have taken, in order to defend democracy and the rights of the people I represent.
“The Mayor’s decision to attempt a hostile takeover of the PCC powers has been exposed for what it is – a cynical, divisive and illegal power grab.
“The Home Secretary has now hastily announced a consultation in connection with the Mayor’s plans, after he has already approved them.
“I urge members of the public to send a clear message to both of them: enough is enough, we will not be treated with contempt and we will not be taken for fools.
A spokesperson for the Mayor said: “Following the Mayor’s request and the Home Secretary’s initial agreement, the Home Office have now moved to the public consultation stage of the transfer.
“The Mayor’s view is very clear – with crime having doubled in eight years and the force now in special measures, enough is enough and a change has to be made.”
In November the Conservative Mayor wrote to the Home Secretary calling for a transfer of powers from Mr Foster’s office to his because ‘crime in this region has more than doubled’ in the past eight years and he ‘simply cannot allow it any longer’.
This sparked outrage in the PCC who has called the move a ‘hostile takeover’ and threatened a judicial review against the Mayor claiming he may have acted unlawfully.
The deadline for the consultation is January 31.
To have your say visit https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/west-midlands-police-and-crime-commissioner-functions-transfer or email [email protected] or write to West Midlands PCC Transfer Consultation, Police Strategy and Reform Unit, Home Office, 6th Floor, Fry Building, North East Quarter, 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF.