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The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster has revealed the up to £3.5 million of costs arising from the Mayor’s decision to “execute a hostile takeover of PCC powers”, if it were to proceed.

On Monday, the High Court found that the Home Secretary’s decision to approve the takeover of PCC powers by the Mayor was unlawful.  As matters stand there will be a PCC election on 2nd May 2024.

However, the Home Secretary has appealed this judgement, and there will be another hearing on Friday 22 March 2024.

The £3.5 million is an estimate of the combined direct and indirect costs that will fall on West Midlands Police, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, the West Midlands Combined Authority and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

It includes the preparatory and election costs, in the event that there is only a Mayoral election in May 2024.

The Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, is persisting with his “hostile takeover” of PCC powers, despite having failed to secure a local democratic mandate in 2019 or 2021. The Home Secretary was supposed to launch a public consultation, but failed to do so, until challenged by the PCC. The outcome of the public consultation was, that a majority of people who responded, were opposed to the takeover.

The Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster said: “This is a matter that is entirely of the Mayor’s own making. I have repeatedly advised him against this shocking waste of tax payers’ money.

“A majority of the leaders of the seven Councils in the West Midlands, the public and I have all told the Mayor we do not want to him to take over the PCC powers, yet the Home Secretary and the Mayor are now appealing against a judgment of the High Court. The Home Secretary and the Mayor are more than happy to spend taxpayers’ money on legal costs when it suits them.

“The Mayor has repeatedly failed to make out his case. Yet, he is persisting with his hostile takeover, in defiance of local democracy, contrary to the principles of devolution and against the will of the people.  

“The Mayor’s hostile takeover of PCC powers represents nothing more than his own personal vanity project and it is in no-one’s interests, save that of the Mayor. I am concerned that this hostile takeover will mean more cuts, more chaos and more crime. 

“The people of the West Midlands will be rightly concerned that the Mayor’s cynical, divisive, unnecessary and undemocratic power grab, that has never secured a local democratic mandate in the West Midlands, would waste up to a shocking £3.5 million.”

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