The Chairman to be heard.
The Chairman was heard in public session and the following points were made.
· The Chairman noted that the Board had, at its 29 July 2020 meeting, decided to adopt an increased frequency of meetings going forward to allow more time to discuss substantive issues. Officers at the City were working towards putting in place arrangements for hybrid meetings where some Members and Officers could be physically present. Members would be contacted in due course to establish their preference to attend meetings in-person or continue to attend via virtual means.
City of London Policing Plan
· The Chairman noted that he was presenting the City of London Policing Plan at the Court of Common Council on 10 September 2020. The plan was a statutory requirement for the Force’s local function but there was also a need to articulate the Force’s National Lead Force function too. Members should note that the Plan had been developed prior to the onset of COVID-19, and engagement would take place with Members in developing the refreshed Plan for 2021-2024 shortly. Historically, engagement had taken place with Members of the City of London Police Authority Board, and officers from the Force, whereas the forthcoming process would be available to all Members of the Court of Common Council.
· The Chairman added that the City of London Corporation was also putting thought into the changing face of the City, and how office space would be used going forward in light of increased working from home patterns. The Force would need to be mindful of this as it went about setting targets and its future Target Operating Model.
Force Finances / Headcount
· In response to a question from a Member regarding the Force underspend due to vacancy rate, the Commissioner replied that the original Force budget had been set based on confirmation of both local and national funding, and since that time recruitment had been done at pace, with two intakes so far this financial year and more intakes planned. The Force was working to identify an up to date headcount in light of those intakes, transfers from outside the Force, and leavers and retirements. The Commissioner was confident in the pace at which recruitment was being conducted but given the original budget had been based on full establishment it was inevitable that there would be an underspend in light of the vacancy rate.
· The Chairman clarified that an analysis of where gaps in the Force existed due to vacancy rate would be dealt with in a report at the October 2020 meeting.