THE new Tory West Midlands mayor Andy Street has met with the Labour police commissioner David Jamieson – whose role the mayor could eventually take over.
The purpose of the meeting was billed by Mr Jamieson as “to discuss joint areas of working and priorities for the next three years.”
Mr Street said in early campaigning before his victory in last week’s first ever West Midlands mayoral elections that the new regional elected mayor role should take over the responsibilities of the PCC by 2020.
There is scope within the West Midlands’ devolution deal with government for more powers to be transferred to the mayor over time.
The PCCs came into place in 2012 with the idea of having one person who can be held to account at the ballot box by voters for his or her performance in overseeing the police – as with the concept of having elected mayors, who have responsibilities for economic development, transport, housing and wider policy areas.
The meeting took place at the PCC’s office at Lloyd House in Birmingham and they were joined by chief constable Dave Thompson.
Mr Jamieson said: “I congratulated Andy on his victory last week and re-iterated my commitment to work with the Mayor in the best interests of the people of the West Midlands.
“We discussed our shared approaches to tackling mental ill health, how we can give young people opportunities to steer them away from crime and gangs and build on the work I have started to drive investment into the region.
“In addition we discussed the hearings I have convened to improve the response to delays on our motorways and the role the new Mayor can now play to move this work forward.”
Mr Street, who beat Labour’s mayoral candidate Sion Simon by a tiny margin of less than one per cent, said: “On election I stressed that I wanted to unite the leadership of the West Midlands.
“I was therefore very pleased to have early constructive discussions with the Police and Crime Commissioner as there are many areas where we need to work together.”
Former John Lewis boss Mr Street will also chair the West Midlands Combined Authority, made up for seven full constituent councils, six of which are Labour – including Coventry.