Responding to revised guidance from Senior Presiding Judge Lord Justice Goldring which will now allow magistrates to sit on police and crime panels, Cllr Mehboob Khan, Chairman of the LGA's Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said:
"We are pleased that Lord Justice Goldring has listened to the LGA's call, on behalf of councils, for magistrates to be allowed to sit on police and crime panels.
"These panels will have a vitally important job to do in scrutinising and holding to account the actions of new police and crime commissioners and their ability to do this can only be strengthened by the valuable skills and experience magistrates will bring to the role.
"A number of councillors serve as magistrates and have a good track record challenging the police and police authorities through local crime and disorder scrutiny committees. It would have been to the detriment of police and crime panels had they been barred from using this wealth of experience to help scrutinise the work of new police and crime commissioners."
Noted to editors
Today's revised guidance follows an earlier ruling by the Senior Presiding Judge which would have banned magistrates from standing for election as police and crime commissioners or sitting on police and crime panels.
Read the LGA press release 9 August 2012
Banning magistrates from serving on Police and Crime Panels is 'nonsensical' – Councils
Author: LGA Media Office
Contact: Simon Ward, Local Government Association Media Office, Telephone: 020 7664 3333
4 September 2012