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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Crime commissioner: £900,000 cost of running office is value for money

The cost to the public purse of Cumbria’s police and crime commissioner’s office (PCC) is nearly £500,000 in staff wages alone.

Richard Rhodes photo
Richard Rhodes

But the man tasked with setting policing priorities in Cumbria has defended the figure of £450,323 last year, insisting it is “good value for money”.

The bill for the commissioner Richard Rhodes’s 12-strong team was revealed under a Freedom of Information request.

The overall yearly price tag for the running of the office was £891,000 in 2013/14 – more than the £806,000 the disbanded police authority cost in 2011/12.

The budgeted cost of the PCC’s office for the 2014/15 financial year is £852,000.

But Mr Rhodes, a former teacher and magistrate who was elected to the post in 2012, said he was happy with the figures.

He said: “It is less than the previous year so the total cost is coming down.

“Given that we have a greater workload and more responsibility within the criminal justice system than the police authority, I’m happy that the office is providing very good value for money.”

The highest earner within the office is chief executive Stuart Edwards, who is paid £88,306. The chief finance officer, Ruth Hunter, gets £74,844 while Mr Rhodes is paid £65,000.

The remaining £222,173 is split between the other nine members of the team, based at Cumbria Police’s Carleton Hall headquarters in

Penrith. Two of them are part-time.

Conservative party member Mr Rhodes, who lives at Backbarrow, near Newby Bridge, explained the top salaries were in line with comparative positions around the country.

He said: “Those positions – the chief executive and the treasurer – were inherited from the police authority.

“The salaries have nothing to do with staff levels and everything to do with the workload and responsibilities held by the office.”

Ray Cole, former police authority chairman, said: “Given that much of the hype about replacing the police authorities with PCCs was that it would reduce costs, these figures are surprising and disappointing.”

Have your say

As a long retired Police Officer (Give me strength) he and his staff are still a complete waste of time and money. Jobs for the boys ain't in it

Posted by Sam on 10 October 2014 at 19:52

How on earth can they justify these salaries for doing so little, (nothing) except trying to convince people what a wonderful job they are doing and that they are 'value for money'. Rubbish!

Posted by Sam on 10 October 2014 at 19:36

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