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Labour reselect David Jamieson for 2016 West Midlands PCC election

Labour reselect David Jamieson for 2016 West Midlands PCC election

🕔21.Dec 2015

David Jamieson has been reselected to stand as the Labour party candidate at next May’s election for a West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner.

The 68-year-old former Transport Minister and Solihull Council cabinet member has been PCC since August 2014 when he was elected to the post following the death in office of Bob Jones.

His selection by constituency Labour parties and affiliated organisations follows widespread confusion over whether next year’s election for the £100,000-a-year West Midlands police commissioner might be scrapped.

The region will have a combined authority overseen by a metro mayor from 2017 who could take responsibility for running the police and fire services. Alternatively, police and fire may be overseen by a deputy mayor appointed by the metro mayor.

Mr Jamieson argued in September that his term in office should simply be extended by the Government until a metro mayor is chosen, saving the need for a costly police commissioner election.

He was also openly critical about plans to extend the combined authority into Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Worcestershire, describing the plan as “a dog’s breakfast”.

Mr Jamieson has been talking to the Home Office about the importance of retaining a directly-elected politician with direct responsibility for the police, rather than subsuming the role into the metro mayor’s duties.

Chamberlain Files understands that West Midlands council leaders have had no contact with Mr Jamieson over setting up the combined authority or the future control of police services.

The Home Office appears intent on pushing ahead with the West Midlands PCC election, and the winning candidate will serve for four years. Critics say this could open up the possibility of friction between two powerful elected politicians – the PCC and the mayor.

A Labour party spokesman said:

Local parties and affiliates recognised the work David Jamieson has done standing up against government cuts, driving efficiencies to protect important areas like neighbourhood policing and getting West Midlands ready for the emerging crimes of the future.

During David Jamieson’s time in office he has pushed through further reforms of stop and search to make it more proportionate and improved the force’s response to those with mental health issues.

Mr Jamieson’s 15 months in office have been marked by constant battles with the Government over funding for police services. He has been at the forefront of a public campaign to persuade ministers to change the formula used to work out grant payments to forces which is said to disadvantage high-crime urban areas and benefit rural police forces.

He recently confirmed that plans to make up to 500 police community support officers redundant have been shelved following the implementation of budget efficiencies and a slightly better financial deal from the Government than was expected. Mr Jamieson said:

I would like to thank local members, parties and affiliated organisations for the strong support they have shown me. I will continue to work hard to stand-up for the West Midlands by recruiting officers and continuing to drive efficiencies so we can protect the areas that the public value most like neighbourhood policing and PCSOs.

I am looking forward to the elections in May where I will be defending my strong record and putting forward my plans for the future of West Midlands Police.

West Midlands Conservatives will choose their PCC candidate early in the New Year. The party said it was abandoning selection in November because the Government had cancelled the 2016 PCC election in the West Midlands. Party officials admitted they were mistaken and the election will go ahead as planned.

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