About Tal

Tal Michael is Chief Executive of a charity based in Caernarfon which gives advice to the people of North West Wales.

Until March 2012, Tal was Chief Executive of North Wales Police Authority, where he put in place stronger consultation arrangements and scrutiny of the force. He particularly enjoyed getting out and meeting local people, discussing their concerns in both English and Welsh and using that information to improve police performance. He is well respected nationally for his understanding of police governance issues.

Prior to this Tal held senior positions in various local authorities: managing performance, improving communications and engagement, regenerating deprived areas, developing partnership between public, private and third sectors and ensuring decisions were properly evidenced and policies scrutinised.

The improvement while Tal was Assistant Chief Executive at Hackney was commended by the Audit Commission and by Ministers and recognised by the public with dramatic improvements in satisfaction with the council.

Before working in local government, Tal was a local councillor and lead member for policing and community safety. He worked as a researcher on police and crime at the House of Commons.

Tal was educated at Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf and Oxford University, where he was elected Student Union President.  Aged 45, he is married with three children and lives in Rhos on Sea, near where his Nain and Taid lived. He is a Welsh speaker who enjoys cycling and hill walking.

I am a member of the Labour Party, Co-operative Party, GMB Trade Union, Cadw, Colwyn Bay Rugby Club, Fabian Society, Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform, National Trust, Progress and YHA.

I am not and have never been a member of any secret organisation such as the Masons.

Senior Public Servant

Tal spent over a decade as a senior officer in three different councils. In each he was the principal chief officer responsible for external partnerships, consultation, regeneration programmes, policy and performance. He worked closely with colleagues within each authority and with key partners in the public, private and voluntary sectors to develop community strategies, performance plans and a variety of other tools. At various times he was also responsible for internal and external communications, information and communications technology; customer services, economic development (including securing and delivering a local enterprise growth initiative), scrutiny support, consultation, members support, elections (including acting as Returning Officer), internal audit and corporate governance (inc. role of Monitoring Officer).

The improvement while Tal was Assistant Chief Executive at Hackney was commended by the Audit Commission and by Ministers and recognised by the public with dramatic improvements in satisfaction with the council.

I was delighted to be able to return to Wales in 2010  as Chief Executive of North Wales Police Authority. The core purpose of this role was to ensure effective operational and strategic leadership of the Authority and to facilitate the accurate and appropriate scrutiny of the Police Force’s activities and performance by the Members.  I ensured a clearer focus on community engagement, greater involvement in setting the priorities for the Police and helped the members hold the Force to account.

Tal resigned as Chief Executive of North Wales Police Authority in order to contest the election for Police & Crime Commissioner.

A Labour Campaigner

Before working in local government, Tal was a local councillor and lead member for policing and community safety. He worked as a researcher on police and crime at the House of Commons.

I joined the Labour Party at the age of fifteen, appalled by the economic policies of the Tories and their willingness to sacrifice people to the dole queue in pursuit of low inflation. I wanted to study economics and politics to be part of identifying economic alternatives for Labour to pursue. As a sixth former, as a student and as a young adult I devoted my time and energy to fighting and winning elections. I was an activist, getting my exercise from delivering leaflets and knocking on doors. I ran campaigns, part of the first wave of using computers to manage the process of identifying our supporters and getting them out to vote. I worked in every local, national and European election and in the rest of the year spent weekends working in by-elections, organised fundraising, social and training events and represented the party at public meetings, street stalls and surgeries. I chaired the local Co-op Party and I was the Chair of the GMB Young Members Committee for the London Region (I have been a member of the GMB Trade Union for over 20 years).

Working for the Labour front bench Police and Crime team in the run up to the 1997 General Election, I prepared documents to substantiate Labour’s claim to be tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime, collected data and prepared personalised press releases for Labour candidates throughout England & Wales and provided the facts to rebut Tory claims that Labour had been soft on crime in opposition.

I was at the centre of the action as Labour came to power – on the Leader’s battle bus providing IT support. I have given a lot to the Labour Party but I also received a lot – comprehensive education and health care and all the other major social advances of the past century, but I also made many friends. I even met my wife through the Labour Party!

I was overjoyed to secure a job in North Wales as Chief Executive of the Police Authority, enabling me to relocate my family to North Wales. But after the 2010 election I became increasingly frustrated with being unable to engage directly in politics as I could see that the Tories and Liberal Democrats fail to understand, or don’t care, about the impact of their policies, which have had a negative impact on the overall economy as well as hitting hardest those who are already struggling. When the Government secured parliamentary approval for its plans to replace police authorities with a Police & Crime Commissioner I knew that I was unlikely to want to stay in my role after the Commissioner was elected. By resigning and fighting that election for Labour I felt I could maximise Labour’s chances of winning.

I ran an energetic, bilingual campaign, but although independent observers commented positively on my strong performance at hustings and in TV and radio interviews, we failed to persuade enough people who were against the new post to vote in order to ensure the winner would take a consensual approach and consult widely, rather than simply boycotting the election.

A Labour Representative

I was elected as a Labour & Co-operative Councillor in Islington in 1994. I chaired the Labour Group, the Council’s Police & Crime Panel and the borough’s Police and Community Consultative Group. I also worked hard in my ward, regularly helping constituents with problems (mostly housing-related) and chairing the Governing Body of a local primary school.

It was through student politics that I first took on an elected role, bringing together students of all politics and none to work together on campaigns that affected them and the wider world e.g. Anti Apartheid. My main focus as President of Oxford University Student Union was widening access: I went to a Welsh Comprehensive (Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf) and was appalled at the under-representation of students from comprehensive schools and the over-representation of public schools. I expanded the Target Schools initiative to get volunteers visiting schools that didn’t usually send students to Oxford and worked with university authorities to ensure bright kids from ordinary schools got a fair chance.


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