A FORMER Wirral Council leader is in line to become Merseyside's new deputy police and crime commissioner.

Phil Davies, who led the authority for seven years, is set to take up the new post in the next few weeks, pending approval by the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel this Thursday.

The part-time role will see him work three days a week £32,718, supporting Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy in overseeing victims' services, combating anti-social behaviour and responding to the coronavirus crisis.

A former Chair of Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, he stepped down as a councillor for Tranmere and Birkenhead ward last May after 28 years in politics to spend more time with his family.

On his candidacy for the role of deputy PCC, Mr Davies said: "I am thrilled to have been selected as the Commissioner’s preferred candidate for the role of Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner.

"I am passionate about delivering good public services and championing the interests of the communities I represent, ensuring they have a strong voice and their views are listened to and acted upon.

"This was at the heart of my work as a Councillor and Council leader for the Wirral and it is the approach I would bring to this role, supporting and working alongside the Police Commissioner representing people from across the whole of Merseyside."

The Merseyside Police and Crime Panel will scrutinise Mr Davies at a virtual meeting on Thursday before recommending whether he should be appointed as deputy PCC or not.

Police and crime commissioner Jane Kennedy said: "As many people know, my plan was to retire in May but due to the unprecedented emergency that the epidemic has caused and the subsequent cancellation of PCC elections, I now have to remain as Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner until May 2021.

"The role of PCC is too important to the smooth running of Merseyside Police for it not to be carried out in the event that I was not able to.

"I am therefore taking steps to underpin my resilience and enable the duties to be carried out through periods of emergency and uncertainty.

"I am delighted that Phil Davies has accepted my invitation to assist me through this period.

"Phil's knowledge and experience of working locally, regionally and nationally will be an enormous advantage to Merseyside Police and to me.

"He is perfectly placed to provide the resilience, stability and continuity required in these challenging times.

"It would be impractical and unsafe to conduct a normal recruitment process consisting of advertising the post, shortlisting and interviewing.

"I acknowledge that this is a decision without precedent but I believe and hope that the panel will agree that Phil has the skills, political understanding and experience in delivering public services to make him a solid candidate for this role."