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Police Commissioner announces preferred candidate to be her next Deputy

MERSEYSIDE'S Police Commissioner has announced the preferred candidate to be her next Deputy, working alongside her to build a stronger, safer Merseyside. Emily Spurrell has confirmed that, following an open selection process, St Helens Councillor, Jeanie Bell, is her choice to take up the role of Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner.

Cllr Bell will now go before the body which scrutinises the Commissioner's work, the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel, for a confirmation hearing on:- Thursday, 1 December 2022, when they will review the appointment and consider her suitability for the role.

The Newton-le-Willows Ward Councillor, who is currently Cabinet Member for Safer Stronger Community in St Helens, will deputise for the Commissioner when necessary while also leading on a number of key policing and community safety portfolios.

Cllr Bell was selected as the preferred candidate following a transparent recruitment process which saw 14 people apply for the part time position and 4 people offered interviews. The interviews, which also required candidates to deliver a presentation in a community meeting scenario, were carried out by the Commissioner, her Chief Executive, Susan McTaggart MBE and Leader of Knowsley Council Cllr Graham Morgan, and were independently observed by a member of the Police and Crime Panel.

Merseyside's Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said:- "The calibre of candidates that applied for this position was extremely high, but Jeanie stood out as having the experience, commitment, and passion for this role. She is already very knowledgeable about policing and community safety issues and has demonstrated a clear focus on building stronger, safer communities. She is committed to improving the care and support on offer to victims of crime, while also pushing for change in the criminal justice system and I have no doubt she will be a hard working and dedicated representative for the people of Merseyside. I'm delighted to announce that she is my preferred candidate for the role. As part of the recent review of the PCC role, the Home Office indicated their intention to make it mandatory for Deputies to be appointed. I have taken the decision to prepare in advance for this change, while also providing additional resilience in my office - a move which has been encouraged by the Police and Crime Panel. This decision will now be reviewed by its members, and I look forward to receiving their assessment of this appointment."

Cllr Bell, who is currently head of Criminal Justice at The Brain Charity, has served as St Helens Cabinet Member for Community Safety since May 2019. She is also the Local Government Association Licensing Champion, having previously served as the Council's Chair of Licensing, as well as Cabinet Member for Public Health, Libraries and Leisure.

Prior to being elected 8 years ago, Cllr Bell was a curriculum leader and lecturer in public services at St Helens College, as well as being a key worker for young people aged:- 14 to 16, who were not in education, employment or training. She has also worked in secure Hospitals for offenders and Young Offenders' Institutes.

Cllr Bell said:- "I'm thrilled to have been selected as the Commissioner's preferred candidate for the role of Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner.  I have been passionate about championing the interests of the people I represent and working to build stronger, safer communities, both in my roles prior to becoming a Councillor and since being elected to serve the people of Newton-le-Willows in May 2014. Over the last 8 years, I have been committed to working with a host of partners to make a difference in the communities I've served, and I'm excited about having the opportunity to support and work alongside the Police Commissioner, helping to give a strong voice to people from across the whole of Merseyside."

The Panel are required to hold a confirmation hearing within 3 weeks of being notified of the Commissioner's preferred candidate. They do not have the power to veto the appointment, but will provide a public report with their recommendation.

Cllr Bell would join the Commissioner's office on a fixed term contract, working 3 days a week for a salary of:- £33,537 per annum.

The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 provides Police Commissioners with the statutory power to appoint a Deputy. There is no specific guidance or criteria on the process, and it is entirely up to the Commissioner who is appointed and how the selection is carried out.

CBI Chief comments on the UK's Autumn Statement

ON the back of a sobering Autumn Statement, the CBI is arguing that while a deeper recession was averted, more needs to be done to improve the long term growth potential of the UK.

Tony Danker, CBI Director General, will argue that while fiscal credibility looks to have been restored, there are 3 imperatives to get the economy growing; Government must now become the great unlocker of private investment; Government must change economic rules to overcome political barriers and businesses must show even greater ingenuity than during Covid.

In the opening speech of the CBI Annual Conference 2022 in Birmingham; sponsored by Accenture and Hays; Tony will also highlight the very real grounds for optimism for our economic future, outlining the many reasons why firms should be looking to invest in UK plc.

Addressing the Conference in the opening plenary on Monday, Tony Danker, CBI Director General, said:- "We come together, once more in extraordinary times. Britain is in the middle of stagflation; hit with rocketing inflation and negative growth; for the 1st time many can remember. We know how to fight inflation. We know how to fight recession. But we don't really know how to fight them together. The predictable reaction is to choose which 'evil' is worst. But that just leads to different kinds of problem. Ignore inflation to get growth going and we've seen what happens. Immediate trauma. Ignore growth to get inflation down? Prolonged pain. I reject the idea that you have to choose. I say you daren't choose. Aggressively getting inflation down is the right thing to do, especially after the market response to the mini budget. Market stability is a precondition to growth. And I pay tribute to the Prime Minister and Chancellor for taking the tough choices needed to achieve that. But what about growth? The painful reality about growth is that it can't be stimulated overnight. That's what the mini budget got wrong. Across the board tax cuts. Immediate demand stimulus. Relying on the old British strength; consumption; at the expense of the perennial British weakness; investment; has given growth a bad name. But growth is good. Growth is a precondition to a stable society. Without growth the NHS gets worse not better. People's lives get worse not better. And we lack the resources we need to transform ourselves to a zero carbon world. Yet Britain's had 15 years of low growth and flatlining productivity. We can't afford a repeat. To the Chancellor's credit, he knows the importance of growth. And last week he made incredibly welcome announcements. 1st, on business rates relief; something we've been campaigning on repeatedly. And he's staying the course on vital infrastructure, such as Sizewell C, HS2, East West Rail and Northern Powerhouse Rail. But even with these, the OBR's forecast has concluded that the Statement will not alter Britain's trend growth of 1.7%. Trend growth is a statement of our true growth rate, without the variations of inflation. And not only has the OBR not changed its assessment of our trend growth since March, lower forecasts for investment and productivity are dragging this down. The only thing holding it up is higher hours worked, due to higher immigration. People are arguing against immigration but it's the only thing that's increased the potential growth of our economy since March. Remember that GDP is a simple multiplier of 2 things; people and their productivity. And it's time to be honest: we don't have the people we need nor do we have the productivity."

Identifying 3 imperatives to get the economy growing, Tony says:- "We need Government to be the "great unlocker of private sector investment". You, Government, are the market mover. You direct the flow of traffic. The tax incentives you set determine where business invests. The risks you underwrite actually create new markets. If we have less public money to invest, then we need a Treasury obsessed with stimulating private sector investment. The 1st choice is about the principles of business taxation. When Rishi told me he was announcing the super-deduction alongside the increase in corporation tax, the principle was clear. If you choose as a firm to invest less and make a bigger profit today, that is your choice. But you'll pay more tax. If you choose to invest more in your long term future, and that of the UK; you'll pay less. Corporation tax rates will jump 6 points overnight in April, but now without the incentives; yet that principle should be staying the same. CBI analysis shows that a permanent full allowances regime alongside that jump; would unlock an extra £50bn in capital investment per year by the end of the decade. The Government should have taken this path. The 2nd choice is Government using its balance sheet to crowd in private sector investment. Not Government picking winners, but Government making markets. Take UK Offshore Wind. Private sector ingenuity, skills and money built the industry. But it took Government to put in place the right finance models, like Contracts for Difference, and the right investment bodies - to help make this a highly investable market. And we can do it again; in hydrogen and Sustainable Aviation Fuel. This is the power of Government as market mover: Seeing the market. Sharing the risk. Creating investible propositions."
Tony Danker, CBI Director General, added:- "The Government must 'change economic rules' to overcome political barriers. You decide what we regulate and what we don't. You decide the skills we import or don't. You decide where we build or where we don't. You decide who we trade with and who we don't. Today those rules don't work for growth. You relied on fiscal firepower to avoid those tough choices. They can't be avoided any longer. Our politicians make anti-growth choices every day in pursuit of other political goals. I respect that. But when we confront stagflation and its massive impact on the cost of living, it's time to kick the tyres on those choices. There are 4 barriers to growth today borne of political choices. 1st is immigration. Let's be honest with people. Our labour shortages are vast. 1st, we have lost hundreds of thousands of people to economic inactivity post Covid. And anyone who thinks they'll all be back any day now; with the NHS under the pressure it is; is kidding themselves. Secondly, we don't have enough Brits to go round for the vacancies that exist, and there's a skills mismatch in any case. And third, believing automation can step in to do the job in most cases is unrealistic. So, let's be practical. Let's have economic migration in areas where we aren't going to get the people and skills at home anytime soon. In return, let's make those visas fixed term. At the same time, let's double down on incentives for technology and automation. And let's agree a skills policy that works to fill these roles from the UK in the medium term. A shortage occupation list that not only goes to the Minister for Immigration. It also goes to the Secretary of State for Education. And a business sector who take on the mantel alongside them in our training budgets. 2nd is regulation. I know that some Conservative politicians today feel that this issue is the fault of Europe. But the biggest regulatory barriers facing businesses today are based on British laws, created by a British parliament, and administered by British regulators. And the regulatory regime today is gold plated and bureaucratic. It is not outcomes based; it's rules based. It's not proportionate; it winds us all up in an overzealous process of enforcement. And too many regulators still think that growth and investment is someone else's responsibility. 3rd is planning. The UK planning system should be a key economic enabler; helping us to get the essential infrastructure and major projects required. And yet in Britain today, planning is broken; slow, fragmented, rife with local politics. That has to change. Then, finally, we have trade. Right now, our trade as a percentage of GDP is the lowest in the G7. Boris Johnson achieved a deal with the EU that allows us to continue to trade tariff; and quota free with our biggest trading partner. There's some good stuff in there. Currently locked up. But still, we argue over the Northern Ireland Protocol. Still, we argue over sovereignty. Get round the table; do the deal; unlock the TCA. I say to Brexiteers, the best guarantor of Brexit is an economy that grows. Its biggest risk is 1 that doesn't. Now I know that some of these things will not be popular with politicians. But while, I have no problem with Government taking tough choices to bring stability, I want them to also take tough choices for growth. Businesses must show even greater ingenuity. You here in this room. Entrepreneurs, business owners, growing businesses, multinationals. In the past 2 years you have shown more resilience, imagination, bravery and agility than ever. The bad news is you can't take a break. Greater business ingenuity has to become the new normal for UK plc... Let me tell you why you should invest. UK plc. has not begun to realise the £700 billion in prizes we identified for 2030 in our landmark economic vision published in 2021; Seize the Moment. Take decarbonisation, where the UK can be a winner in the global race to net zero. We can be market leaders in green tech and clean energy; and a global centre for sustainable finance. In innovation, the UK can push our lead in science and technology. Win increased global share for UK Fintech and leverage our domestic AI expertise. On trade, there's much untapped export revenue to be won by pressing the UK's advantage in high-priority, high-growth, country-sector combinations. In our regions and nations, we can win global share by playing to distinctive, competitive strengths. We think the path to this is clusters; something I see the Chancellor wants to get behind. On workforce, we are all embarking on turbocharged talent strategies; across recruitment, retention and training. And in health, employers are a new frontline in physical and mental wellbeing, and we have the potential to grow our life sciences and wellness sectors massively. This is the growth potential of Britain. 6 prizes, still very much in our reach. Last year we saw it in the statistics. This year we've seen it in your stories. There is much to play for."

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