Panel to decide on Bedfordshire PCC’s deputy choice

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PCC John Tizard with Ms Umme Ali. Image: Labour Party
PCC John Tizard with Ms Umme Ali. Image: Labour Party

There is no need for an open recruitment process to appoint Bedfordshire’s new deputy police and crime commissioner, a panel will be told next week.

Next week, (4 June), the Bedfordshire Police and Crime Panel will be asked to confirm the appointment of the county’s new deputy police and crime commissioner (DPCC).

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The new police and crime commissioner (PCC), John Tizard, announced Ms Umme Ali as his choice for DPCC during his election campaign.

He did this as he “felt it was important” that the electorate could make an “informed decision” about who to elect – not only as PCC but also who would be the deputy.

The DPCC role is exempt from Section 7 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989, which requires that all staff appointments to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) should be made on merit.

Therefore an open recruitment process is not required.

The Panel will be asked to recommend whether or not Ms Ali should be appointed – but the PCC can reject their decision.

As the deputy PCC, Ms Ali will assist and advise the PCC on several areas of activity.

For example, championing victims and strategic policy for reducing violence against women and children, or representing the PCC at engagements and events.

Ms Ali was elected as a Labour councillor to Luton Borough Council in May 2021 and re-elected in May 2023 and is the council’s portfolio holder for Children’s Health and Wellbeing.

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She also sits on the council’s Corporate Parenting Board and the Health and Wellbeing Board and is a trustee and board member at Luton Foodbank and Citizens Advice Bureau Luton.

Ms Ali is also a specialist paediatric dietitian at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, working in the areas of paediatric oncology and type one diabetes.

Ms Ali can take up the role “with immediate effect” should the PCC choose to confirm the appointment after hearing the Panel’s recommendations.

Ms Ali’s salary is based on the PCC’s salary (£54,975) and she would receive 75 per cent of this pro rata.

The former DPCC, Ian Dalgarno was selected by the then PCC, Festus Akinbusoye, following a recruitment process. The Bedfordshire Police and Crime Panel will meet at 6:30pm on Tuesday, June 4, at Borough Hall in Bedford.

The full agenda can be viewed here.

By John Guinn
Local Democracy Reporter