Michael Fabricant has called for "two cheers" following the Home
Secretary’s announcement to put a temporary hold on plans to absorb the
Staffordshire Police into the West Midlands Police Service. "These
mergers were opposed by the Association of Police Authorities, would
have put millions on our council tax bills, and in my opinion would have
seen still fewer police officers in our streets in Staffordshire" says
In a letter to Michael Fabricant, Home Secretary John Reid has said "We
want to work constructively with the policing community to try to reach
a consensus on issues such as cost, council tax, and local
accountability as well as on the timing of mergers…. I don’t want
these discussions to be constrained by an unnecessarily tight timetable.
That is why I have announced that I do not propose to lay any Orders for
enforced police mergers before the Summer recess."
Michael Fabricant adds: "So rather like the forced merger of the
Staffordshire Ambulance Service, the time limit for the take-over has
been lifted but the Home Secretary has made it clear that he still
intends to go ahead with this programme of enforced police mergers.
Still, at least a delay has been announced. It remains to be seen for