Nottinghamshire crime commissioner supports devolution despite job risk

Nottinghamshire’s police and crime commissioner says she is ‘broadly’ supportive of the county’s devolution plans – despite the proposals potentially putting her job at risk.

By Andrew Topping
Monday, 28th March 2022, 9:15 pm

Caroline Henry says she has had conversations with Nottinghamshire Council about its devolution goals, which could see a directly-elected mayor and combined authority created for Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

If the counties received the full devolution package, more decentralised powers and funding would be provided locally to improve healthcare, crime, education and transport among other areas.

But Government documents confirm the mayoral role could also have police and crime commissioner responsibility, meaning their remit would cover the funding of police and setting policing priorities.

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Caroline Henry, Nottinghamshire police and crime commissioner.

It has led to some concern among county councillors that Mrs Henry could face losing her job if the full devolution package goes ahead.

And questions were raised at the authority’s late policy committee meeting over whether the newly-elected commissioner is in favour of the plans.

Mrs Henry has now confirmed the devolution ambitions across the East Midlands have got her support, but said there is a ‘long way to go yet’ before any details are revealed on the future of police and crime commissioning in Nottinghamshire.

She said: “I’m in favour of anything that will benefit Nottinghamshire’s residents.

“I was not involved in the meeting, so am not in a position to comment on matters discussed.

“Certainly, I have met council chief executive Anthony May to discuss what may happen, but there is a long way to go yet.”

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Future

Mr May said: “The leader, Coun Ben Bradley, and I met Mrs Henry and agreed we should look at the options available to us to include the powers of a police and crime commissioner in a devolution deal.

“But we will not make a judgement at this stage as to how they might be brought down in detail.

“If you tick the box of police commissioner powers for a deal across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, technically you’re speaking on behalf of both counties and we’re not in that position yet.

“What we have agreed with the commissioner is we will work with Mrs Henry and her counterpart in Derbyshire, to consider what options are available.”

Council leaders will continue discussions about the potential devolution deal.

The Government expects many deals to be agreed by autumn this year.

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