Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner has appointed a deputy.
Jim Battle has been chosen as the successful candidate following an open and independent selection process.
Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd said: “I’d like to pass on my warmest congratulations to Jim. Although I wasn’t involved in the selection process until its final stages, I’ve been assured that the quality of candidates was incredibly high.
“Jim has a long and distinguished track record in bringing people across Greater Manchester together to make our communities safer. I’m looking forward to working with him on your behalf to drive forward this agenda in the coming years.”
Jim said: “I’m really pleased to be given this opportunity to serve the people of Greater Manchester. This is a fantastic chance to work with the Police and Crime Commissioner, police, local authorities, other partner agencies and – most importantly of all – local communities to reduce crime and make our communities safer.
“In these times of severe financial pressure, we need to come up with innovative ways of working together so that our communities don’t suffer as a result of reckless government cuts. I believe I’ve got the experience and track record to help make a real difference to the people of Greater Manchester.”
Jim has served the public for more than 30 years, working for a range of charities, local authorities and housing groups. He is currently the Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, a position he has held since 2004.
During his tenure at Manchester City Council, Jim has been one of the leading voices in the community safety arena, not just in Greater Manchester but across the United Kingdom.
He was responsible for setting up the city’s approach to dealing with crime and disorder and has represented the city region on a national level. He has successfully lobbied prime ministers, deputy prime ministers and home secretaries from all the main political parties on behalf of the people of Greater Manchester.
As well as developing three crime and disorder reduction strategies for Manchester, Jim has been instrumental in the practical delivery of community safety projects.
These have included groundbreaking initiatives to target guns and gangs, responding effectively to the riots in 2011 and improving Manchester City Council’s approach to dealing with hate crime.
He has also been instrumental in bringing communities together to celebrate their success. Examples include initiating Manchester’s St George’s Day festivities and the Be Proud Awards, where each year community champions are recognised for the positive impact they’ve had in their neighbourhoods.
Jim was born in Bradford in West Yorkshire, but has lived in Greater Manchester for most of his life. He has strong family ties across the region, with family members in Wigan, Leigh and Bolton, as well as Manchester.
Jim was selected as part of an open and competitive process. Sixteen people applied for the role, and an independent panel selected five for interview.
The panel comprised: Rochdale Council leader and chair of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities Police and Crime Steering Group, Councillor Colin Lambert; independent Police and Crime Panel member, Maqsood Ahmad; and former Manchester Evening News editor Paul Horrocks.
The panel interviewed the five candidates before putting forward three for Tony to interview and make the final decision.
Tony added: “I felt it was important to ensure that this process was as transparent as possible, which is why I wanted a strong, independent interview panel.
“There have been concerns raised elsewhere in the country about the fairness of deputy appointments and I hope this process gives reassurance that we have the best candidate for the job.
“I’d like to thank Colin, Maqsood and Paul for their invaluable contribution to the process.”
As part of the application process, candidates were asked to answer a series of questions about their suitability for the role.
In order to focus on his new role, Jim is to stand down from Manchester City Council.