[box_dark]The views expressed are those of WMP Federation, and not necessarily those of the force. Here, Joint Branch Board Chair Ian Edwards discusses the latest issues.[/box_dark]
WHAT a couple of weeks that was. Firstly, 35,000 officers marching through the streets of London followed by a spirited Police Federation Conference.
We owe a big thanks to everyone who took the time to travel down with us to London. We took around 2,300 officers from the West Midlands, which was considerably more than any other force, apart from the Met.
Even in percentage terms, we were well ahead of everybody else in terms of numbers. This just shows the strength of feeling amongst us all in relation to changes to our conditions.
I know that it was impossible for some people to get any time off to attend. I am sure there will be other opportunities for you to involve yourselves soon.
We were joined on the march by local MPs Jack Dromey and Liam Byrne, and Richard Burden spent some time talking to reps and officers.
At the conclusion of the event, we also managed to lobby some of our local MPs – notably, Lorely Burt MP and Gavin Williamson MP, who are both part of the coalition government.
You may have seen in the press that the Police Minister Nick Herbert described the march as “futile”. Later the following week, he explained to a packed hall of Federation Reps that he was talking about other public sector protests and not ours!
The Federation Conference saw the Home Secretary and Police Minister in attendance as well as the Shadow Home Secretary. Both Theresa May and Nick Herbert were subjected to in-depth questioning by a number of representatives incensed at the current government’s stance on policing.
We feel strongly that the police are being singled out by the Home Secretary.
- Why are we facing more reform than any other public sector body?
- Why do we have 121 recommendations in Winsor 2?
- Why have we had a pension increase above and beyond some other public sectors?
According to the Home Secretary, these cuts are all “manageable and affordable”.
Please rest assured that Mr Winsor will not go unchallenged!
It’s been an unbelievably busy time here at Guardians House. We are doing all we can to represent your views both locally and nationally. Thank you for all your support.