- Bev Hughes to stand down as Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire after five and a half years
- Kate Green MP set to be nominated as Greater Manchester’s new Deputy Mayor
- Bev Hughes to stand down in early 2023
Bev Hughes is to step down as Greater Manchester’s Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire in the new year. Bev will continue for a transitional period to ensure a smooth handover of responsibilities.
As Deputy Mayor, Bev Hughes has overseen the transformation of both Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and Greater Manchester Police. She has also led the city-region's efforts to reduce and prevent violent crime and gender-based violence – as well as leading the reviews into historic child sexual exploitation within Greater Manchester.
Kate Green who has been Member of Parliament for Stretford and Urmston since 2010, will be nominated by the Mayor of Greater Manchester to become the new Deputy Mayor.
Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, Bev Hughes, said: “It’s been a privilege to work with Andy and other local leaders to establish Greater Manchester’s first metro mayor and Combined Authority, laying the foundations for a brighter future for our city-region.
“A huge part of my role has been to keep people in our communities safe. Within just two weeks after the election of the Mayor in 2017, we immediately faced the biggest challenge imaginable after a terrorist attack killed 22 people and injured hundreds more at Manchester Arena.
“Our focus then was on the victims and families and that has been our continued focus throughout these five years, ensuring that that everything possible was done for them and that lessons are learnt. The Kerslake Review and the more recent Manchester Arena Inquiry have both bluntly exposed major failings in the emergency services at that time.
“Since then, I’m proud to have worked with the Mayor in bringing in a new Chief Fire Officer who, alongside a largely new leadership team, is driving the service forward to becoming a modern, excellent, progressive fire and rescue service with an inspiring culture to match.
“It has been a similar journey of improvement for Greater Manchester Police. The force we inherited had major problems, culminating in the decision by HMICFRS to impose special measures in December 2020, enabling the Mayor and I immediately to change the leadership.
“Under Chief Constable Stephen Watson, GMP came out of special measures a couple of weeks ago in record time. GMP has seen significant improvements across the board, including to 999 answer times – one of the best in the country – improved attendance at Grade 2 incidents, arresting more criminals, more investigations resulting in charges, solving more burglaries and recording more crime than ever.
“It has been an enormous privilege to do this job and work with so many able and committed people to improve community safety across Greater Manchester. I am proud to have led on the first integrated health and support service for people in police custody in the country, on our justice devolution deal which led to the establishment of a regional probation service for Greater Manchester giving us greater say in the services provided for our communities and in having been able to provide over £5million to voluntary sector organisations across Greater Manchester who work tirelessly to support people, often when they are at their most vulnerable.
“I look forward to supporting the new Deputy Mayor into the post and seeing community safety partners and indeed Greater Manchester go from strength to strength.”
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “When I first approached Bev to take up the role of Deputy Mayor, I don’t believe either of us could have predicted the enormity of task we would face in the five and a half years to come.
“Just two weeks in, we were confronted by the horrific and heart-breaking events of the Manchester Arena Attack. This exposed the fact that our police and fire services in Greater Manchester were in a state of disrepair. We set about fixing them and we started with GMFRS, which has been a huge undertaking, and then we did the same with GMP. Both are now in a much stronger position than they were five and a half years ago.
“Bev has stayed in post to oversee GMP coming out of special measures, and I thank her for the incredible work she has done in making that possible. The progress made is the achievement of GMP and its staff, but it’s also Bev’s achievement.
“We were also just one week into our time in office when the Three Girls documentary aired on BBC, and we heard that a police investigation into child sexual exploitation in Greater Manchester had been dropped for no good reason. When I asked Bev if she would she support an independent review, she didn’t just back it, she led it. Bev’s years of work on this since has led to major police investigations which have allowed us to take huge steps forwards in finding the perpetrators of these vile crimes. She has led this with a determination to carry on in support of our young people, to seek justice and protect them.
“Bev has given an incredible career of service to the public of Greater Manchester and is a very hard act to follow. However, I’m confident I have found someone with the calibre, character, and values to do just that. Kate Green MP has accepted my invitation to be put forward for the role as Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester with responsibility for police and fire, and that nomination will now go forward for consideration by our Police, Fire and Crime Panel. If approved, Kate will take up the role in the New Year, supported by Bev in a transitional period.”
Article Published: 09/11/2022 14:03 PM