First meeting for Police and Crime Panel

The Sussex Police and Crime Panel met for the first time on Monday 26 November, and heard from newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Katy Bourne.

The Panel is made up of 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.

Former chairman of the shadow panel West Sussex County Councillor Brad Watson OBE was elected as Chairman, and East Sussex County Councillor David Elkin was elected as Vice Chair. The Panel also confirmed the co-option of Graham Hill and Sandra Prail as independent members.

Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne, who officially took up her post on Thursday 22 November, outlined her vision for the role and took questions from members of the Panel.

Scrutinising the Police and Crime Commissioner’s plans will be a key role of the Sussex Police and Crime Panel, and although it cannot veto her budget, it can exercise some control over the amount the Commissioner wants to raise from council tax.

The Panel also agreed how it would handle complaints against the PCC, and discussed their role in confirming senior appointments within the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Chairman Brad Watson OBE said, “At this historic first formal meeting of the Police and Crime Panel, I want to thank members for their support and confidence.

“We will create an effective and dedicated panel, which will hold the Police and Crime Commissioner to account for her decisions, on behalf of the residents of Sussex.”

The Panel next meets on 11 January 2013. Meetings are webcast and open to the public, and take place at East Sussex County Council in County Hall, Lewes. You can view a webcast of the November’s meeting on the Public-i website: