Lord Willy Bach, Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, will make history today (Monday 18 July) when he becomes the first sitting Commissioner to speak in the House of Lords.
He will speak during the debate on the second reading of the Policing and Crime Bill (2015-16 to 2016-17), something for which he is eminently well-qualified.
A former barrister, Willy Bach was created a Labour life peer in 1998. He has served as a Justice Minister and more recently as Shadow Attorney General and Shadow Legal Aid Minister, a role he resigned to focus on his responsibilities as PCC.
The Bill is supportive of further collaboration between the emergency services, enabling Police and Crime Commissioners to on take the functions and duties of fire and rescue authorities and potentially, should a local case be made, delegate fire functions to a single chief officer for police and fire.
Lord Bach will tell members that he is far from convinced that bringing fire and rescue services under the governance of the local PCC will bring benefits to either the services themselves or the public they serve.
Ahead of his speech he said: “I am sceptical about the so-called benefits. There is a very long way to go before I could be persuaded that giving PCCs responsibility for the governance of their fire and rescue services, is a good idea. I think it is a step too far.
“Some PCCs have indicated that they are willing to sit on their fire and rescue authority, but not me. I am considering an invitation to attend the meetings, but I will do this as the locally elected Police and Crime Commissioner, not as a member of the authority.”
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair 01283 821012
Posted on Monday 18th July 2016