Lancashire’s new Police and Crime Commissioner is to carry on serving as a County and Wyre borough councillor - at least in the short term.
Clive Grunshaw made his announcement just days before officially taking up his new PCC role on Thursday. He said: “I have already resigned from my position as leader of Wyre Labour Group. In the short term, I will continue my roles as a District and County Councillor. I will make an announcement on my future in these roles in the new year.”
He continued: “I am aware that it would be very difficult to plan, promote and facilitate a by-election, for all concerned, so close the festive season. There is also a considerable cost to holding by-elections and it is important not to waste funds when it is only a short time until the County elections next May. Clearly this will be carefully managed; arrangements are already in place to ensure I can commit fully to the demands of my role as PCC whilst honouring my commitments to Wyre Council and Lancashire County Council.”
Mr Grunshaw has already got some key dates in his diary - including taking questions, along with Chief Constable Steve Finnigan, from invited policing students from UCLan in Preston, on the day he starts his new job. He’s also due, along with the other 40 new PCCs, to see Home Secretary Theresa May on December 3.
But his immediate concern will be the Government’s announcement of the Constabulary’s budget allocation on December 19 and the six weeks he then has to set the budget by January 31 next year.
There’s also a pressing need to draw up the county’s new Police and Crime Plan in consultation with the Chief Constable. This will be revealed at the same time as the budget. The Constabulary has to make £42m cuts by 2015 and £3m of these have yet to be identified.
Mr Grunshaw, who gained 79,790 votes in Friday’s election, announced the name of his new deputy Commissioner Ibrahim Master from Blackburn, a Deputy Lieutenant of Lancashire and member of the former Police Authority, within minutes of being elected. The county’s new watchdog Police and Crime Panel will be asked to confirm Mr Master’s appointment at its meeting on December 17.
Described as ”a critical friend offering challenge and support” the Panel’s role is to hold the new Commissioner to account. It will: review and report on the Commissioner’s new Police and Crime Plan ; make recommendations on the proposed Police service precept (Council tax charge) and can veto the charge if it disagrees with it.
It will review and report on the Commissioner’s Annual Report. It can also review senior Police and Commissioner’ appointments via public confirmation hearings.