Birmingham is under-represented on a new region wide police and crime panel being set up, it is claimed.
The panel, which will replace the Police Authority and work under the new police and crime commissioner from November, will have just three members from Birmingham out of 12 from local councils.
Birmingham, the largest authority in the region, represents 1.1 million out of the 2.6 million people in the West Midlands.
The deal was negotiated by the seven West Midlands council leaders, including Birmingham’s Mike Whitby, through the regional joint committee.
Birmingham City Council will appoint three members, Coventry and Solihull will also appoint three between them and the four Black Country authorities of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton will get six between them.
Edgbaston Labour MP Gisela Stuart said: “Mike Whitby has let the city down with this agreement.
“The positions should be handed out according to the relative population. On that basis Birmingham would have five.
“According to the population figures Birmingham should have five or six on the panel. There is no way it merits the same numbers as Coventry and Solihull.”
She said this could lead to an imbalance of policing resources and Birmingham has a larger demand as host of major events like political conferences and sporting events.
“Birmingham has disproportionate demands, there is a risk that we will not get appropriate policing.”
But Tory council leader Mike Whitby (Harborne) defended the deal as good for Birmingham and pointed out the difficulty in achieving agreement among seven leaders of varying political parties.
He said: “We decided that the seven leaders should each have a place as a starting point. There were five places left of which Birmingham got two, almost half. The others have not been guaranteed an extra place. We have two out of nine on the West Midlands Police Authority so this means greater representation.”
A new factor in the political oversight of West Midlands Police will be the election of a Police and Crime Commissioner on November 15.
Directly-elected commissioners will replace the current system of Police Authorities with the responsibility of helping to set policing priorities and holding the Chief Constable to account, including the power to hire and fire.
Privately, senior officers are concerned if newly-elected candidates tried to interfere or “flex their muscles”.
Powers include the ability to call the commissioner to answer questions, scrutinise his policy and, with a two-thirds majority, veto his or her council tax precept or choice of chief constable.
All forces across England and Wales are setting up panels, with the majority made up of ten members.
West Midlands has, as one of the largest and most demanding police areas, asked the Home Office to expand that to 12 council appointed members and two independent members. In the current political landscape of West Midlands councils Labour would get six, the Conservatives five and the Lib Dems one.
Several politicians have expressed interest, including Labour’s Broad Street manager Mike Olley, Birmingham City Council’s Lib Dem cabinet member for community safety Ayoub Khan and Labour Police Authority member Bob Jones.