Invitation to question Derbyshire's police commissioner Alan Charles at his public meetings
MEMBERS of the public could soon be able to grill Derbyshire's Chief Constable and Police and Crime Commissioner at a series of meetings across the county.
The question and answer session is a new idea that has been put forward at the first strategic governance board meeting of the commissioner, Alan Charles.
At yesterday's meeting, held in public at Derbyshire Constabulary HQ, in Ripley, it was suggested that in future meetings Mr Charles and Chief Constable Mick Creedon would take questions from the public.
The meetings will take place during 2013 in Derby, Swadlincote, Chesterfield and Buxton.
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Mr Charles said: "I think it is important to take these other four meetings around the county so that people can hear what we discuss as agenda items and then afterwards we can open the floor up to questions in general. By offering varying locations across Derbyshire, I hope these meetings will provide greater accessibility.
"At the end of the year, public attendance can be reviewed and we can discuss the benefits of continuing to work this way."
Yesterday's meeting of the commissioner's strategic governance board took place in front of one member of the public, one member of the press and Councillor David Chapman, who is the chairman of the police and crime panel which oversees the work of Mr Charles.
Agenda items included the agreed 1.96% increase in the council text precept, which Mr Charles said he "regretted having to do" but which would "maintain 20 to 30 police officer or police community support officer roles".
It was also agreed that the four remaining meetings would take place on April 15 at Chesterfield Town Hall; June 24 at Buxton Fire and Rescue Centre; September 16 at South Derbyshire District Council's office, in Civic Way, Swadlincote; and November 11 at the Council House, in Derby.
All will start at 2pm. The agenda for each meeting will be online at the Police and Crime Commissioner website abound four days before.
Mr Creedon, who attends each meeting, agreed that holding a question and answer session was a good idea. He said: "There should be a question and answer session for the public after each meeting so we can discuss any issues or concerns they have."