SPA chair to step down

Support provided to police authority be reviewed.

The Scottish Government has announced a review of the support provided to the Scottish Police Authority Board.

Cabinet Secretary for Justice Michael Matheson confirmed the review today as Andrew Flanagan also announced that he is to step down from his position once a new chair of the SPA board can be appointed.

Mr Matheson said:

“I am grateful to Andrew Flanagan for his significant contribution to policing, having become chair at a key time for the sector and brought a more strategic focus to the oversight of this key public service. Together with the Chief Constable, Andrew has led the development of the future strategy for Policing, including extensive public consultation through the draft 2026 strategy.

“However, he has acknowledged that mistakes have been made. He has offered a full and very public apology and made clear changes to transparency and governance in light of the concerns raised.

“I have agreed that he will stand down from his role once a successor is identified and recruited through the public appointments process. This will allow business continuity over this important period.”

Writing to update the Public Audit and Post Legislative Scrutiny Committee and Justice Sub-Committee on Policing on a number of issues raised by MSPs, Mr Matheson advised them of the planned review.

The Cabinet Secretary added: “The review will consider how the executive of SPA can best support the Board to take informed, transparent decisions. This will be jointly led by the SPA deputy chair Nicola Marchant and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Chief Executive Malcolm Burr, who will provide an independent perspective.

“Issues covered will include how the executive can best work with Police Scotland to support the Board, how arrangements for engaging stakeholders in the work of the Authority can be strengthened and the consequent staffing and operating structure.

“I expect to receive the report in the autumn and will carefully consider its findings to ensure we have a strong and robust police authority to oversee Scottish policing as it continues to serve and safeguard our communities.”


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