Northamptonshire Police commissioner hopes council reorganisation could spark better services for residents
Northamptonshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner wants to have a ‘broad conversation’ on how the potential reorganisation of local government in the county can impact on better public services for residents.
PCC Stephen Mold unveiled his Police and Crime plan for the next three years yesterday, on the same day that he revealed that 100 extra police officers would be recruited using the £3million raised from increased precepts paid by residents.
The plan was discussed at the latest Police and Crime Panel at County Hall on Thursday (April 4), and Commissioner Mold was particularly keen to see how the proposed reorganisation of local government in Northamptonshire can help his force in the service that it delivers.
He said: “Too many times people have to report their stories time and time again to different agencies, and it’s not the most efficient thing for them, and it’s not the most efficient use of our public services.
“So as part of the debate about local government reorganisation, we want to have a broader conversation. Only 25 per cent of our calls are for crimes, so would it not be better to make partnership investments to give all our customers a better public service?”
The reorganisation proposals, which still require government approval, would see the current county and district/borough councils abolished to make way for two unitary authorities, where all services would be merged, from April next year.
The commissioner, who also revealed his first Fire and Rescue Plan since taking over the fire authority from the county council, believes that the reorganisation could help shape a more joined-up approach for services for residents. And he’s eager to be involved in the discussions of how the proposed unitary councils could help deliver that.
He said: “My default is to seek to collaborate within Northamptonshire with other agencies to better deliver services to the people we all service.
“Collaborations can provide additional capacity or capability for dealing with specialist incidents for matters that cross the responsibilities of a number of other organisations.
“I will continue to engage with the local authorities and their successor unitary authorities, as well as health and education service partners to ensure that we think about the individuals we serve rather than focus on the silos of our own organisation.
“The majority of crime issues cannot be solved in isolation by one agency, the causes of crime are broad and reflect wider societal issues. It is therefore only by seeking to work with and influence partners that the greatest benefits can be made.”
Panel member Councillor Andre Gonzales de Savage added: “Communities are growing and the pressure on the public pound is ever increasing, so I would always like to see that collaboration. We need to really be at the forefront of that.”