Change of plan for police tsar support staff may save cash

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PLANS to recruit two new senior executives to run the office of one of Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioners could be revised after it emerged taxpayers were facing a huge bill.

Earlier this month, the Yorkshire Post revealed South Yorkshire Police Authority was considering advertising for a new chief executive and a new treasurer on salaries of up to £100,000 a year each.

But it is likely these costs will now reduce after a plan was drawn up which will allow an existing shared administration to be expanded.

Under the Government’s crime commissioners policy, the two support posts are statutory, and must be filled before nationwide elections for commissioners take place in November.

Commissioners will take over the running of forces, from police authorities and authority staff in West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and Humberside will simply transfer over after the poll.

But this is not possible in South Yorkshire because its police authority shares administration with the county’s transport, fire and pensions authorities under the South Yorkshire Joint Secretariat.

In a report to be examined by members of the authority on June 8, the current joint secretariat chief executive Bill Wilkinson says he will step down in weeks to “facilitate the transition” and allow a restructure to meet the needs of the commissioner and the three remaining authorities.

He adds: “Creating a physically separate police unit would increase costs both to the PCC and the other South Yorkshire authorities because overheads currently shared would be borne by the separate units.

“Drawing on the shared services arrangement provides more resilience in the sense that the police and crime commissioner can utilise the wider capacity of the secretariat as and when required.”