A trip to Coventry saw me engaged with U3A (Current Affairs Group) – ‘The Third Age Trust is the national representative body for the Universities of Third Age (U3As) in the UK.  U3As are self-help, self-managed lifelong learning co-operatives for older people no longer in full time work, providing opportunities for their members to share learning experiences in a wide range of interest groups and to pursue learning not for qualifications, but for fun’.

An hour and a half later, I was worn out. Over 40 knowledgeable and inquisitive people debated and questioned the election process and role of PCC. They were frankly astounded that so little information was available for such an important and influential position.

They were concerned that the reduction in police resources would negatively impact on Coventry with staff being drawn back to Birmingham. They were aware of the reduction of police dogs and the realignment of the police helicopters to the National Air Unit. In summary they were worried that policing Birmingham would become a priority and Coventry would have fewer resources.

I provided some reassurance that as PCC I review the resourcing levels across the West Midlands and explain the model used to assess resourcing v demand.

They thought that the PCC would be based in Birmingham so they were surprised when I said I would have travel to different areas so I became a familiar figure across the West Midlands.

My thanks to Bob Rouse and the Current Affairs Group for a testing debating and the cup of coffee.    

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Police and Crime Commissioner, PCC, putting people first, West Midlands, Cath Hannon, Cath, Hannon, female, woman