June 04, 2006

News from 1 June

Cleveland Police Authority confirmed it would continue to seek a judicial review. The Northern Echo reported that
Clevelands position appeared to be strengthened last night after it emerged that four local councils, Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley and Solihull had also begun judicial review proceedings over plans to merge Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Mercia and West Midlands forces into one super constabulary.

It is thought that other bodies who are unhappy about police merger proposals in different parts of the country could be prepared to follow suit.
Meanwhile, Wales' police chiefs said they were in favour in principle of the creation of one Welsh force, reported the BBC, but threatened to object over money and timing concerns. Welsh Secretary Peter Hain spun the meeting, saying
I am glad that Tony (McNulty) has taken on board the chief constables' concerns on the financing of a single force, on precept equalisation, making sure that the new force does not suffer financially and on timing.

He was able to assure them that these concerns are being taken very seriously indeed and that he would take a hands-on role in ensuring that such difficulties could be overcome to give the best possible protection to the people of Wales.
The BBC report concluded that
BBC Wales understands that during the meeting, the chief constables outlined serious frustrations with the way the Home Office dealt with concerns. They complained about unanswered letters, cancelled meetings and confusion over who was looking after the process.

Mr McNulty promised them a different approach in the future.
Quite a turnround from their initial position. Were they perhaps calculating that the government wouldn't be able to come up eith the extra money to cover the cost?

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