Police chiefs to lose company car perk as budget cuts bite

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Chief officers at a Yorkshire police force are to lose their company cars as it tries to save £40m over the next four years.

The perks for South Yorkshire Police’s senior command team will be phased out to help the force overcome a funding cut of 20 per cent in real terms by 2014-15.

The move was agreed in private yesterday by members of the force’s governing authority, which is chaired by Charles Perryman.

A South Yorkshire Police Authority spokesman said: “The authority has considered its medium-term financial plan in the light of the Government’s cutbacks on police grants.

“This is already requiring a series of cuts in all areas of the budget, including reductions in police officers and staff numbers.

“Members felt it appropriate to include a review of the terms and conditions of service for the force’s senior command team as part of the authority’s overall financial planning.

“After detailed consideration the authority has decided to phase out the current provision of cars to its senior officers in the most cost-effective way.”

Documents obtained by the Yorkshire Post last year showed the force was paying £1,125 a month to lease an Audi A8 diesel car for Chief Constable Meredydd Hughes, who will formally retire from the force tomorrow.

Mr Hughes’s deputy Bob Dyson, who will become Acting Chief Constable from Monday, Assistant Chief Constables Max Sahota and Andy Holt, and finance director Nigel Hiller were each given BMWs costing between £30,000 and £40,000.

Mark Whyman, now a temporary Deputy Chief Constable in charge of regional policing across Yorkshire, drove a BMW estate car which was bought by the force for £33,838 in July 2007.

The search for Mr Hughes’s successor continues after only two applicants expressed an interest in the position.