This blog is mainly about the governance and future of policing and crime services. (Police & Crime Commissioners feature quite a lot.) But there are also posts about the wider justice system. And because I am town councillor and political activist, local & national issues are covered a little, as well.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Indexing governance

I have been blogging lots about the Thames Valley PCC and the Police & Crime Panel in recent days and weeks. I thought it might be helpful to have a blog that could act as an index to these blog postings.
  • This is the first blog where I highlighted the facts around Mr Stansfeld's two offices and his expense claims is here. It was this blog that sparked national interest in this whole story.
  • Then the Mail on Sunday picked up the story and broadcast the appointment of a support worker (aka driver /chauffeur). This is my blog that discussed the MoS article.
  • The following day, Mr Stansfeld responded with an interview in the Oxford Mail. In this blog post, I discussed his response.
  • Meanwhile the 'Bullfinch' trial reaches a conclusion. Mr Stansfeld issued a statement. In this blog I explained my misgivings about his statement.
  • And I decided to dress up as a chauffeur and attend the meeting of the Police & Crime Panel last Friday. This blog explains my reasons for doing so and a little of what happened.
  • During the meeting, Mr Stansfeld said more as to how this whole situation arose and his reasoning behind it. This blog was my unpicking of his reasoning.
  • But the meeting (thankfully!) is about far more than this issue. In this blog I critiqued the role of the PCP and how well it is fulfilling its function of holding the PCC to account.
  • The PCP also discussed the 'Bullfinch' trial. This blog was my view on their discussion.
I suspect that Mr Stansfeld would prefer to paint all my postings as politically motivated and seek to dismiss them on this basis. My critique of the mostly Conservative members of the PCP may think likewise. I will concede that political tribalism is part of this and I would not be pursing these matters quite so assiduously if Mr Stansfeld represented the Labour Party. (I am sure others would of course...) However, I would still be writing about these matters and indeed I would be using Labour party mechanisms to challenge his actions and hold him to account. 

Indeed, my blogging in defence of the appointment of Paris Brown as the Kent Youth Commissioner is evidence, I hope, of my capacity not to be politically myopic. (And yes, the irony of my comments about the Daily Mail /Mail on Sunday is not lost on me!)

Because in the end this is all about good governance (a standard that I had a small hand in helping to form in my role at the Office for Public Management). I would contend that we are not seeing much of that at the moment here in Thames Valley (in the way that we are in other places).

Finally, out of interest I dug out my figures on 'approval ratings' of the 41 PCCs which I calculated as the % of the population that voted multiplied by the % of first preference votes that the PCC received. Mr Stansfeld got a rating of 4.5%. It was one of the lowest. 


  1. Anonymous21/5/13 09:11

    Good work Jon. I'm afraid the whole PCC fiasco is a Govt sideshow, designed to deflect pressure from the Govt (Home Office).'Buck-passing'appears to be the main reason for their existence. It is laughable that a complete amateur can wield so much power over a CC. I hope Labour has policy to reform the PCC failed system. It certainly doesn't reflect a move to a more democratic oversight of police.

    1. Thanks Anon. I think an incoming Labour Government would seek to reform this governance structure. Exactly how is up for debate. How would you like to see it reformed?