Simmonds reveals plans for ‘sprawling’ PCC

editorial image

New PCC Adam Simmonds has published a detailed plan to establish a sprawling commission to run Northamptonshire’s police force.

Seventeen new jobs have been proposed, including a chief-of-staff, four permanent assistant commissioners, a value for money officer, as well as assistants, an executive secretary and senior policy officers.

He also aims to establish three new offices inside the newly formed commission – an “Office for Drugs Eradication”, an “Office for Faith-based and Neighbourhood Initiatives” and an “Office for Northamptonshire Resilience”. Staff numbers in these offices have not been detailed.

A spokesman for Mr Simmonds’ new commission yesterday said it was unable to provide details of how much each role would cost, saying decisions on salaries would be made by HR at a later date and would be based on the “going rate”.

The announcement comes after Mr Simmonds appointed four “interim” assistant commissioners, including two former Northamptonshire County Council colleagues and his election agent. The draft consultation, called “Beginnings”, will now undergo a formal consultation with the aim of starting a formal process of appointments at the end of January.

New Police & Crime Commissioner, Mr Simmonds, has previously told the Chronicle & Echo how he hopes the budget for his new commission would be less than £800,000 a year - which was what the former police authority cost.

However, he has indicated he would be willing to break that budget should the remit of the commission be broadened.

The Government has yet to release details about whether the 41 new commissioners in the UK will receive any additional central funding.

If they do not receive a cash boost, the cost of the new commission is likely to come from the existing police budget.

It comes after Mr Simmonds wrote to all police officers and staff on his first day in the job to say there was “no more money” and warned he could not guarantee jobs. However, he insists the establishment of the new commission is vital in his aim to make Northamptonshire Police “the brightest and best police force in the country”.

Mr Simmonds said it was no longer “business as usual” at Northamptonshire Police. He said: “The new commission will be transformational: innovative; vibrant; passionate; embracing new technologies and new ways of doing things. It will get things done: less talking, meetings and bureaucracy; a ridding forever of the well-worn committees. It is going to deliver together with the chief constable the brightest and best police force in the country.”

POLICE & Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds says his new commission will win the “trust” of communities.

He said: “It will have its finger on the national pulse and be at the heart of best practice development and innovation. Above all, the commission will stand up strongly for the interests of our local communities and victims and will not be timid in making sure their voices are heard. It is going to behave and deliver in a way that wins the trust of local people.

“Listening and engaging with local communities, delivering on what we say we will being open and accountable in what we do, and challenging the professionals.”