Regional Devolution – The Implications for Police

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2015 Police & Justice Service Group Conference
16 June 2015

Conference will be aware that Regional devolution in the North West will be a testing ground for future public sector provision as the funding changes and commissioning responsibilities involved in these new arrangements are put into practice.

Devolution in the context of austerity and ever tightening budgets creates a significant concern that there is a risk of passing down unpopular decision making to regions and therefore blame is removed from the government. For devolution to succeed it must involve an increase in the resources available to be spent on hard pressed public services especially policing.

The Mayor’s role in the Manchester Combined Authorities devolution and prospective Merseyside devolution impacts on the Police as the new Mayors undertake the functions of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Conference is concerned that as a result of the creation of Mayors in the North West and other areas of the country, provision/issues for members are at risk of being subsumed or compromised as decision makers have their attention drawn to a wider range of services and issues.

Further concerns for our members in Police and beyond are on: access to decision makers, accountability, democratic deficit, and the impact of competing budgets. In addition members face a third change in governance arrangements at a time when pressure is being put on forces by the government agenda to provide a blue light service only, and these moves create more insecurity for UNISON members working within forces.

In the light of the changes, risks and outright attacks ahead, Conference calls on the Service Group Executive to engage with UNISON’s Local Government and Health Service Groups to look at coordinating across service group sectors to address the ramifications for Police Service members and branches involved in regional devolution.