Labour’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) candidate for North Yorkshire has voiced concern over the spiralling running costs of the PFCC office.
“In the last four years under the leadership of a conservative commissioner, costs have risen by 27%,” said Alison Hume who is standing in May’s PFCC elections. “In 2017 the budget for the PFCC office was £910,571 – but it’s now risen to £1,150,000. This is totally unacceptable – particularly during a time when Police and Fire Service budgets have been slashed.”
Ms Hume is promising to reduce the running costs of the PFCC office to previous police authority levels – a reduction of around 10%. “One of my first priorities as the PFCC will be ordering a review into the Enable North Yorkshire scheme,” she explained. “This plan requires “back-office” staff to work as one team, under one roof, as part of a wider programme to improve efficiency and affordability across the Police and Fire Services in North Yorkshire. It’s ironic that the commissioner is expecting efficiency savings from our emergency workers, whilst her own office costs have gone up.”
In December, the government revealed it would be giving a total of £806,325,481 to Yorkshire’s four police forces for the coming financial year – equating to £147 per head. But the sum spent on the Metropolitan Police in London equates to £219 per person (excluding City of London Police).
“In real terms North Yorkshire Police are now £18 million a year worse off than they were in 2010,” said Ms Hume. “In the last two years alone they’ve been under pressure to slash £10m from their budget and make staff redundant. And on top of that we discover that there’s still a north south divide and an inequality in the way central government funding is allocated. In the meantime the commissioner should be setting an example and making sure her own costs don’t get out of control.”