I understand that Home Office Ministers in the House of Commons will tomorrow table eleventh hour amendments to the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill.
Having spent the last few months arguing that no changes were possible, I am told that the changes will be major and that they will involve postponing the first elections for Policing and Crime Commissioners outside London until November 2012.
This is a major u-turn by Ministers and an expensive one. Elections in November will cost a lot more than holding them in May 2012 or May 2013 when they would at least coincide with some other local elections. And, of course, turnout in a potentially wintry Autumn is likely to be much lower…..
It is not yet clear whether there are to be any other concessions, in particular, to require PCCs to act in a more collegiate fashion with a Board holding them in check.
Nor is it clear what this means for the timing of the changes in London, where the Mayoral elections are in May 2012 – just weeks before the Olympics – and where there were originally plans to implement the changes and create the new MOPC this autumn.
Either way this is an indication that the many long hours of debate in the House of Lords DID have an impact ….