Lib Dems call for a step-change in the oversight of policing in Greater Manchester

Following an extraordinary Scrutiny meeting last night attended by elected GM Mayor, Andy Burnham, and Deputy Mayor for Policing, Baroness Bev Hughes, Stockport Council Liberal Democrats have called for a step-change in the oversight of policing in Greater Manchester.

Speaking after the meeting, committee chair Mark Roberts, Lib Dem councillor for Bredbury Green and Romiley, said: “The meeting was called by Lib Dem councillors because of our concerns about the way the GM Mayoral team have handled the damning HMI report published last December. We were concerned that this was being handled too often through private meetings, with a lack of transparency and no real accountability to the residents of Stockport.

“We shone a light on this complex situation and we were able to clarify important matters, including when the Mayoral team knew just how damning the HMI report was and the fact that the Mayor instructed the former Chief Constable to step aside from his role.”

Charles Gibson, Lib Dem councillor for Hazel Grove, said: “During the meeting we highlighted the gap between the oversight of policing and the way all other aspects of political decision making across Greater Manchester are handled. Whilst the current Police Panel model is what is required by law, it is dominated by Labour cabinet members from across Greater Manchester, supposedly holding a Labour elected mayor to account.

“We have never done only the bare minimum when it comes to oversight and scrutiny in Stockport and we advocated for a much stronger scrutiny model to be developed and implemented for policing so that residents can be confident their elected members know what is happening and are holding the political decision makers to account.”

Cllr Angie Clark from Bredbury Green and Romiley, added “The Lib Dem Group will be pursuing Andy Burnham’s apparent willingness to improve the oversight of policing in Greater Manchester. It is a real shame it has taken the findings of an HMI report and pressure from Lib Dem councillors in Stockport for such improvements to become possible.

“We will be following up with recommendations for a politically balanced and transparent oversight and scrutiny model to be adopted.”

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