Police and Crime Panel ready to step out of the shadows

The first meeting of the Sussex Police and Crime Panel will be on Monday 26 November, just days after the election of the Police and Crime Commissioner for East Sussex, West Sussex and Brighton & Hove.

The Panel’s job will be to support the newly appointed Commissioner, Katy Bourne, the Conservative Party winner, who started work four days ago. She beat Liberal Democrat, Labour, Independent and UKIP candidates for the new role. The Commissioner replaces the former Sussex Police Authority.

Until now there has been a Shadow Police and Crime Panel, chaired by West Sussex County Councillor, Brad Watson OBE. From next Monday it will lose its ‘shadow’ status and the Panel will start work.

The Panel includes councillors from each of the 15 local authorities in East and West Sussex, plus two independent members. For East Sussex County Council the two members are Cllr. David Elkin and Cllr. Rosalyn St. Pierre.

One of the Panel’s first tasks is to review the new Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan. Although it cannot veto her budget, it can exercise control over the amount the Commissioner wants to raise from council tax.

“For many months we have been doing a lot of work before ‘going live’ and we are delighted we can now begin officially,” said Brad. “We will be holding the new Commissioner to account, to ensure public accountability and transparency. However our first job will be to appoint a chairman and vice-chairman of the Panel until next June. Then both post holders will be chosen annually by members.”

The new Commissioner will be invited to attend the first meeting to outline her vision for the new role. The aim is to hold the Chief Constable to account, although the new post plays no part in day-to-day police operations. Mrs Bourne will hold the post for three-and-a-half years, after which the post will be elected every four years.

The Panel meeting, which is open to the public, will take place at East Sussex County Council in County Hall, Lewes at 10.30am, where all future meetings will be held.

You can wathc the meeting live, or at any time over the coming six months, via our webcast system:

The next meeting will be on 11 January 2013.

Here is a list of confirmed members (and substitutes) of the Police and Crime Panel. This includes additional seats allocated to Brighton & Hove City Council, East Sussex and West Sussex County Councils, in accordance with the constitution and agreed by the Home Office. Substitutes are shown in brackets.

  • Adur District Council David Simmons (Pat Beresford)
  • Arun Dstrict Council Paul Wotherspoon (Len Brown)
  • Brighton & Hove City Council Ben Duncan (Matt Follett) Warren Morgan (Alan Robins)
  • Chichester District Council Tony Dignum (Eileen Lintill)
  • Crawley Borough Council Nigel Boxall (Karl Williamson)
  • Eastbourne Borough Council John Ungar (Margaret Bannister)
  • East Sussex County Council David Elkin, Rosalyn St Pierre
  • Hastings Borough Council Trevor Webb
  • Horsham District Council Brian Donnelly (David Coldwell)
  • Lewes District Council Andy Smith
  • Mid Sussex District Council Christopher Snowling (Pru Moore)
  • Rother District Council Robin Patten
  • Wealden District Council Claire Dowling (Johanna Howell)
  • West Sussex County Council Brad Watson Andrew Smith (Dr James Walsh)
  • Worthing Borough Council Tom Wye (Paul Yallop)

The Panel will also be asked to confirm the co-option of Graham Hill and Sandra Prail as independent Members.