Today was my first day on the new police authority. I attended the Finance Committee meeting.
Now the Sword of Damocles is hanging over all police authorities with the impending reforms and the proposals for elected police Commissioners so what did I make of it?
Well it is early days so any views are inevitably informed only by first impressions with all the risks of being found to be wrong with hindsight and deeper knowledge. However it was interesting to be met with what one could describe as an 'old style' local authority type committee. Councils have long since moved to be run by Executives or Cabinets - in other words by a small group of elected members drawn from the larger Council.
As a 'back-bench' Councillor on CWaC to be seen to have 'some real power' as a member of the police authority is an interesting departure but it has set me thinking about efficient use of time and resources - but it is far too early to have any sort of view about that.
I made a small contribution to the meeting discussing PCSOs and their funding - and more particularly the importance of the police authority and constabulary selling the concept of PCSOs to Town and Parish Councils and their populations. My impression is that there is a perceptions and knowledge gap here. At our Annual Town Meeting at FTC a member of the public questioned whether it was appropriate for FTC to continue funding its 1/3rd share of a PCSO. If that is happening here - that should perhaps serve as a warning sign!