HC Deb 17 November 2003 vol 413 cc701-2W
Mr. Key

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the members of the Wiltshire Police Authority indicating(a) who nominated them, (b) who appointed them and (c) their political affiliation. [137348]

Ms Blears

There are 17 members of Witshire police authority made up of nine councillors, three magistrates and five independent members, as shown in the table:

Wiltshire Police Authority
Members Political affiliation
Mrs. C. Arkell Conservative
Mr. B. Ford Conservative
Mrs. M. Groom Conservative
Mrs. C. Soden Conservative
Mr. W. Spiers Conservative
Mr. D. Benfield Labour
Mrs. M. Taylor Labour
Mrs. M. Boulton Liberal Democratic
Mr. P Sample Liberal Democratic
Mr. G. Baskerville
Mr. F. Palmer
Mrs. M. Sitaram
Independent Members
Mr. W. Fishlock
Mr. C. Hoare
Mr. I. Johnston
Miss A. Scofield
Mr. H. Woolnough

Councillors and magistrate members are nominated locally. The final decision on independent members is also taken locally but from a short list provided by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary. Members are appointed under the terms of Schedule 2 of the Police Act 1996

The political affiliations of magistrate and independent members are not relevant to the appointment to the police authority and are not known.

Mr. Hoyle

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance he issues on the range of organisations to be represented on police authorities, with particular reference to the number of representatives from(a) district and (b) county councils. [137508]

Ms Blears

The standard membership of a police authority outside London under section 4(1) of the Police Act 1996 is 17 members, of whom nine will be councillors appointed from relevant councils, three will be magistrates appointed by the local Magistrates Courts Committee and five will be appointed from local people (independent members) who mainly live or work in the police area. The Home Office and Association of Police Authorities published joint guidance on the selection and appointment of independent members of police authorities in England and Wales on 20 September 2002. This guidance reflects the intention in the Act that the independent membership should, as far as practical, represent the interests of a wide range of people in the community and be appropriately skilled. It does not specify organisations.

Where there is a single relevant council in a police area, it selects from its membership the nine councillor members of the police authority according to political balance. If there is more than one relevant council, then a Joint Committee of those councils makes the appointments on the balance of parties prevailing among the members of the relevant councils taken as a whole. The apportionment between relevant councils is a matter for the Joint Committee. This is set out in Schedule 2 of the Police Act 1996 as amended.