Thursday, 31 May 2012

Holding the Police and Crime commissioner to account

One of the few ways of bringing some local influence back to Reading following the police and crime commissioner elections (apart from voting for a candidate who understands Reading's priorities of course) will be the input of the members of the police and crime panel.  If you want to apply to be a member of this you should start thinking about it now - closing date is 13th July.  Information about this is below:



Reading residents with a keen interest in helping to reduce crime and disorder are being urged to consider putting themselves forward for a role on the soon-to-be formed Police and Crime Panel for Thames Valley.

November 15th this year will see the Thames Valley elect its first Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC). The Commissioner will be responsible for setting the priorities and resources for Thames Valley Police, as well as supporting broader community safety activities across the region.

Alongside that a Police and Crime Panel will also be established to directly scrutinise the work of the PCC. The purpose of this role is to assist the PCC through providing independent challenge as a critical friend. The newly formed panel will be made up of one representative from each of the 18 local authorities in the force area, and two independent co-opted members.

Councillor Tony Page, Reading Borough Council's representative on the current Thames Valley Police Authority and the new Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel, is now urging Reading people to consider putting themselves forward for the two new co-opted posts available on the Panel.

Cllr Page said: 'As Reading's representative I am very keen that the new panel reflects the great diversity we have here in Reading and of which we are rightly proud. Reading is a key town within the Thames Valley region and the last thing I would want to see is a panel which does not properly reflect the make-up of the region it serves. The Panel wishes to reflect the breadth of communities in the Thames Valley and will welcome applications from all eligible people irrespective of gender, ethnic origin, religious belief, sexual orientation, disability, age or other factor. I hope there will be Reading residents who feel they have an active contribution to make and will apply for further details.'

The two successful candidates would serve on the Panel from Autumn 2012 over a four year term. It is expected that the time commitment would be approximately one day a month, including preparation and travel time.

Meetings will be held at varying locations throughout the Thames Valley (in the historic county areas of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire). All Panel members will receive induction and other appropriate training. Reasonable travel expenses will be paid.

For a copy of the application pack see www.buckscc.gov.uk/scrutiny or telephone Clare Gray on 01296 383610. The closing date for applications is 13 July 2012."