Monday, 19 November 2012

From Car Clubs to local policing

There has been a lot of activity in the local community which has been keeping me busy and on Saturday morning I was on Chichester Cathedral green for the official launch of the Chichester Community Car Club. This is a really exciting project promoted by Chichester District Council in partnership with West Sussex County Council.

The Car Club is a national scheme and proving very popular in town and city areas. It offers those who only use their car occasionally the chance to give it up, as they have access through the Community Car Scheme to communal cars. Residents pay a joining fee of £25 then £5 per month. The member can book the car for an hour or longer. Anyone from 18 (holding a full driving licence) with no age ceiling can join the scheme.

As someone mentioned to me on Saturday, they have two cars but if they join the scheme they can get rid of one car and use the Car Club.

So less bother, saving money yet with access to a car. I think there are quite a few people in Chichester who will be thinking the same way! It is a real community facility and I am sure it will do well. For further information click here.

Throughout last Friday counting was taking place for the Police and Crime Commissioner elections and in the afternoon it was confirmed that Katy Bourne had been elected as Sussex's Police and Crime Commissioner. My congratulations and best wishes to Katy.

Like all newly elected Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) she will take up her post on Thursday 22 November, when she will have to swear an oath of impartiality which signifies the new role in local communities where she will be serving the community as a whole.

It will undoubtedly be a busy time ahead as she sets her police and crime plan, as well as the force precept and budget.

Part of the role is regularly engaging with the public and communities, as she will have to answer to the public on the delivery and performance of the police in Sussex.

There is also the Police and Crime Panel to examine the actions and decisions of the PCC. The Panel will support and challenge them when they carry out their functions, and will ensure that information is available for the public, holding the PCC to account.

So there are many new changes ahead, and it is the accountability to the communities and greater transparency which I think is a good thing.

In previous blogs I have mentioned that partnership working is vital in everything we do. The County Council has a good working partnership with Sussex Police and I look forward to working with Katy Bourne and Sussex Police in future.

Best wishes,

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