As the end of a policing era draws nearer, the West Yorkshire Police Authority (WYPA) is to answer public questions months before it is abolished.
The authority, consisting of 17 councillors and members of the public who oversee the region’s police force, will be replaced by an elected Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) on November 21 at midnight.
It will host its penultimate full authority meeting in Wakefield on Friday, September 21, and is asking the public to submit questions about its role that could be answered on the day.
Questions, which must be submitted by Friday (September 7), can relate to any aspect of the authority’s role, including setting the police budget and the police council tax precept, police performance and targets, or the role members play in scrutinising the force on the public’s behalf.
WYPA chairman Coun Mark Burns-Williamson said: “The role of the police authority is to challenge and scrutinise the chief constable and force on behalf of the public, so the questions can be about any aspect of our work.”
Anyone who submits a question will be given the chance to attend the meeting and ask it in person although if they are unable to, or do not wish to attend, then an answer will be sent to them following the meeting.
So far Mr Burns-Williamson is one of just two candidates to put themselves forward for the £100,000-a-year PCC role, with Coun Geraldine Carter also standing.
Nominations close on October 19 and the election take place on November 15.
The PCC will set the budget for West Yorkshire Police and hold the chief constable to account, with the ultimate ability to have him or her dismissed.
The force is slashing £67 million from its budget, with 1,800 staff, half of whom are officers, set to go by 2015 and more cuts are feared in the next Comprehensive Spending Review.
For advice on the wording of questions, or for further information, call Sharon Waugh on 01924 294000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.