Agenda and minutes

Wiltshire Police and Crime Panel - Thursday 8 February 2024 10.30 am

Venue: Council Chamber - Council Offices, Monkton Park, Chippenham, SN15 1ER. View directions

Contact: Matt Hitch  Email:


No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies were received from:


·       Cllr Abdul Amin – substituted by Cllr Claire Crilly

·       Cllr Sudha Sri Nukana


Minutes and Matters Arising

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 18 January 2024 as a true and correct record.

Supporting documents:


On the proposal of Cllr Anthony Pickernell, seconded by Cllr Vijay Manro, it was resolved to make the:




The minutes of the meeting held on 18 January 2024 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Declarations of interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable interests or dispensations granted by the Standards Committee.


There were no declarations of interest.


Chairman's Announcements

To receive announcements through the Chairman.


The Chairman reported that Swindon Borough Council had appointed the following substitutes to sit on the Panel:


·       Cllr Matthew Vallender (Conservative)

·       Cllr Claire Crilly (Labour)

·       Cllr Jo Morris (Conservative)


Public Participation

The Panel welcomes contributions from members of the public.



If you would like to make a statement at this meeting on any item on this agenda, please register to do so at least 10 minutes prior to the meeting. Up to 3 speakers are permitted to speak for up to 3 minutes each on any agenda item. Please contact the officer named on the front of the agenda for any further clarification.



To receive any questions from members of the public received in accordance with the Panel’s constitution.


Please note that questions must relate to the responsibilities and functions of the Panel and must not relate directly to operational policing matters.


Those wishing to ask questions are required to give notice of any such questions in writing to the officer named on the front of this agenda no later than 5pm on Thursday 1 February in order to be guaranteed of a written response. In order to receive a verbal response, questions must be submitted no later than 5pm on Monday 5 February. Please contact the officer named on the front of this agenda for further advice. Questions may be asked without notice if the Chairman decides that the matter is urgent.


Details of any questions received will be circulated to Committee members prior to the meeting and made available at the meeting and on Wiltshire Council’s website.



There was no public participation.


Precept Public Consultation Report

To consider the report on the findings of the public consultation.

Supporting documents:


Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Philip Wilkinson OBE, MPhil, introduced a report about his office’s consultation on the policing precept for the forthcoming financial year. He highlighted that, of the 2,610 responses received, 68 percent supported an increase of between £10 and £20 per Band D household. The PCC noted that whilst the survey was a relatively small sample of Wiltshire’s population, he felt that the figures were indicative of the general feeling amongst residents. He noted that Wiltshire Police were investing in measures to improve service delivery, including upgrading training facilities and creating a Serious Assault Referral Centre. He believed that Wiltshire Police were now delivering value for money and urged the Panel to approve an increase of £13 on the average Band D property.


During the discussion, points included:


·       The Panel thanked the PCC’s office for the report.

·       Ways to improve ethnic minority participation were suggested, including the possibility of attending events in Temples, or the Gurdwara, in Swindon. The PCC felt this was an excellent suggestion and noted that he had held a consultation on 6 February in Devizes with Independent Advisory Groups from a range of communities in order to discuss how they could strengthen communication with his office. He also noted that he had been invited by the Mayor of Salisbury to attend a number of Muslim prayer sessions. The PCC had accepted the invitation and was keen to engage with as wide a range of communities as possible.

·       It was noted that the survey showed a strong level of support for Wiltshire Police, with 85 percent in favour of more investment to increase policing in the community.

·       Given the cost-of-living challenges facing residents, the PCC was invited to comment on the results in the survey showing that 92 percent of those who wanted to see more investment to increase policing in the community wanted investment to come from central government. He was challenged by the Vice-Chairman about whether the support for different levels of precept increases, in paragraph 4.7 of the report, really indicated the 68 percent of respondents were in favour of his proposals as only 39 percent had supported increases of between £10 and £15.

·       In response to the points made about the level of support for further investment, the PCC underlined that the first objective in his Police and Crime Plan was to improve engagement with communities and to put more officers on the frontline. He then outlined the progress made towards those goals, including opening a new police station in Tidworth to provide a framework of neighbourhood teams across the county and introducing a new operating model. He also noted that the Chief Constable was putting measures in place to improve community engagement.

·       With regard to the issue of funding from central government, the PCC noted that he had, together with other PCCs representing rural areas, lobbied MPs, including the policing minister. He reported that he had met with Home Secretary James Cleverly the previous day to discuss the Police  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.


Police and Crime Commissioner's Budget and Precept Proposals 2024/25

The Panel will be asked to approve the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Precept proposals for the forthcoming financial year.

Supporting documents:


Clive Barker, the Chief Financial Officer at the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC), introduced the report starting on page 19 of the agenda pack, which recommended an increase of £13 in the precept of a Band D property for 2024/25. He then gave on overview of the changes since he reported at the previous meeting. There had been a slight uplift in the collection funds estimated by Wiltshire Council, but he stated that this did not materially impact the settlement. There had also been a reduction in the Safer Streets Fund since the publication of the Mid Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) due to financial pressures on the Home Office.


The Chairman clarified the options open to the Panel were to:


• support the proposals without qualification;

• support the precept and make recommendations, or

• veto the proposed precept by the required majority of nine (at least two thirds of the persons who were members of the Panel at the time when the decision was made).


During the discussion, points included:


·       The Panel thanked the Chief Financial Officer for the report.

·       Funding for the newly published Estates Strategy would have to come from the revenue budget.

·       The Police Officer Uplift Grant and Police Pay Award had been funded from the Home Office’s budget. Whilst there had been a perception that a greater proportion of funding was coming from local, rather than central government, once the Police Officer Uplift Grant and other Home Office grants were taken into account, the balance of funding remained similar.

·       The police funding formula linking the level of crime to the level of funding was written in 2013 and it was unlikely to be updated in the near term.

·       The OPCC was legally obliged to deliver a balanced budget.

·       Under the Police and Crime Commissioner’s (PCC’s) proposals a Band A property would see a precept increase of £8.67 and a Band H property £26. Overall, a Band A property would be paying £179.51 from 2024/25 and a Band H property £538.

·       In response to a query about the level of flexibility in the way that grant funding allocated by the Home Office for a specific purpose, could be used, the PCC noted that there was a degree of flexibility to identify areas of greatest need.

·       It was noted that most forces in the region were proposing to increase the precept by the maximum possible amount of £13 on a Band D property. Some forces, such as Devon and Cornwall (£12.94), were proposing to increase it by slightly lower amounts.

·       When asked about whether investment in South West Forensics Collaboration, would remove the need for further outsourcing of forensics work, the Chief Financial Officer noted that the aim was to eliminate further outsourcing within three years.

·       The cost-of-living pressures faced by residents were emphasised.

·       The Vice-Chairman raised concerns about the PCC’s lobbying of central government about funding.

·       It was noted that any increase in funding for 2024/25 would have a knock-on effect for future  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.



To receive an update on how the Police and Crime Panel can improve its communications with the wider public.


The Chairman noted that the meeting was being recorded. This was the first time that one of the Panel’s meetings, held outside either Wiltshire Council or Swindon Borough Council’s main offices, was being recorded. The Democratic Services Officer, Matt Hitch, noted that the recording would be uploaded to Wiltshire Council’s website after the meeting.



Forward Work Plan

To note the forward work plan.

Supporting documents:


The Panel requested that they receive a short report on the National Police Air Service at the next meeting. 


The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) regretted that he would be unable to attend the Panel’s next meeting in person, as he would be attending the World Police Summit in Dubai on 7 March.


It was asked whether it would be possible to have an update at their next meeting on the progress made towards addressing the findings of the Police Effectiveness, Efficiency and Legitimacy (PEEL) Inspection and whether Wiltshire Police had come out of special measures. The Chief Executive of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC), Naji Darwish, reported that His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services were satisfied that progress had been made but, as a further inspection was forthcoming, it was unlikely that they would be able to confirm at the next meeting whether Wiltshire Police had come out of the ENGAGE process.


An update on the reforms being put in place by the PCC was requested by the Panel. They also requested information about the level of voluntary work being undertaken to help Wiltshire Police and how to support voluntary work going forward.


The OPCC stated that they would prepare a paper for the Panel to consider further ‘deep dive’ topics at the next meeting.


The Panel reiterated that they would welcome the opportunity to join the police to go out on patrol. The Chief Executive of the OPCC explained that the PCC had held conversations with the Chief Constable about this issue immediately after the Panel’s last meeting. He noted that Wiltshire Police were very keen on working with local councillors and that further information would be provided in due course.


Any Other Business

An opportunity for members to raise any other matters, or questions for the Police and Crime Commissioner.


As Clive Barker was attending his final Panel meeting as Chief Financial Officer at the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Panel wished him a very happy retirement.


Future Meeting Dates

To note the future meeting dates below:


·       Thursday 7 March 2024, 10:30am, Council Chamber, County Hall

·       Thursday 27 June 2024, 10:30am, The Enterprise Network, Salisbury

·       Thursday 26 September 2024, 1:30pm

·       Thursday 14 November 2024, 10:30am



The next meeting of the Police and Crime Panel will be on Thursday 7 March 2024, at 10:30am, in the Council Chamber, County Hall.


Other future meeting dates were:


• Thursday 27 June 2024, 10:30am

• Thursday 26 September 2024, 1:30pm

• Thursday 14 November 2024, 10:30am