Agenda item

Protocol 12

To review Police and Crime Panel’s rules of procedure and Panel arrangements. The Panel will be invited to approve its proposed constitutional documents. 


Report to follow.


The Chairman reminded the Panel that their arrangements and rules of procedure, Protocol 12 of Wiltshire Council’s Constitution, had not been updated since 2014. At their previous meeting they had agreed for an updated version to be drafted and considered by the host authority’s, Constitution Focus Group. Revised documents had been prepared by officers in consultation with Panel members, before being considered by Wiltshire Council’s Constitution Focus Group on 19 May 2023. The Constitution Focus Group had welcomed the overall changes and were content for the Panel to consider them in further detail. The Chairman then referred the Panel to the report in Agenda Supplement 1 summarising the changes from the existing documents.


It was clarified that approval for the changes would require a two thirds majority of the total membership of the Panel, nine of the 13 members. The changes would also need the agreement of both Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council, so, if approved by the Panel, would be bought to their respective Full Council meetings for ratification.   


During the discussion, members welcomed the alterations including those to the public participation rules. It was questioned whether reference could be made to the Criminal Justice Board in the documents. The Chief Executive of the OPCC explained that the PCC chaired the Criminal Justice Board but that many powers rested with partner agencies. The Democratic Services Officer noted that all of the powers of the Panel derived from the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (the Act) and its associated regulations, so it would not be possible to exercise any functions other than those conferred to it by the legislation.


Following on from this discussion, the Chairman suggested that the Panel might like to consider receiving a report from the OPCC about its wider work with the Criminal Justice Board.


It was noted that section 2.2 of the draft Panel arrangements included a reference to members of the European Parliament being prevented from being Co-opted members of the Panel. The Democratic Services Officer clarified that the wording came directly from the 2011 Act, which was drafted when the United Kingdom was a European Union member state. Members stated that they would welcome the addition of a footnote to highlight the reason for the inclusion of this restriction.


It was also discussed whether the balanced appointment objective panel arrangements should include an aspiration to reflect the diversity of the police force area.


On the proposal of the Chairman, seconded by Cllr Pickernell, it was resolved to make the:




To approve the new draft Panel arrangements and rules of procedure (Protocol 12 of Wiltshire Council’s constitution) subject to both the ratification by Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council and the inclusion of the following amendments:


1.    To add a footnote to section 2.2 of the panel arrangements to clarify that the restriction to members of the European Parliament becoming Co-Opted members of the Panel was drafted when the United Kingdom was a European Union member state. 

2.    To delegate to officers, in consultation with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman, the addition of wording to state that the appointment process shall include an aspiration to reflect the diversity of the police force area.  



Note: The 11 members of the Panel present voted unanimously in favour of the proposal, therefore the required threshold of two thirds of the total membership was met. The proposals had been presented to the Monitoring Officer of Wiltshire Council at least 10 working days prior to the meeting and the Panel had considered a report about the implications of the proposals.

Supporting documents: