Row breaks out over Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s ‘inefficient’ office costs

Cambridgeshire Police Crime Commissioner Sir Graham Bright tours the Police Service Centre at Thorpe Wood ENGEMN00120130816140004

Cambridgeshire Police Crime Commissioner Sir Graham Bright tours the Police Service Centre at Thorpe Wood ENGEMN00120130816140004

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A row has broken out after the Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) was branded the least cost effective of all PCCs across the country regarding office expenditure.

The TayPayers’ Alliance (TPA) has defended its findings after declaring that the office of Sir Graham Bright spent £2,979 per 1,000 members of the electorate in 2013-14.

This was more than any of the other 40 Offices of Police and Crime Commissioners.

However, the findings are being rubbished by Sir Graham and his team which states that the TPA has incorrectly used £1.2 million of grants in its calculations of how much money the office of Cambridgeshire’s PCC spent.

The money, it is said, goes straight out again and is not an office cost.

In a statement on their website, the office for the Cambridgeshire PCC states that its expenditure in 2013/14 was £563,000 - a decrease of £273,000 compared to the money the Total Cambridgeshire Police Authority, its predecessor, spent in 2010/11.

Nevertheless, the TPA is defending its findings. Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the campaign group, said: “We can quibble endlessly about official figures - taken from official accounts and Freedom of Information Requests that have been queried only by those who have come out badly from the research - or Mr Bright could focus instead on how to deliver further savings to the taxpayer, as many other PCCs have done across the country.

“PCCs have an important job to do, but that’s no excuse for spiralling staff costs, and every penny saved is a penny that could be diverted into frontline policing.”

The TPA report states that if Sir Graham’s office spent as efficiently as the office for Thames Valley, the most efficient of the 41 offices, then it would save over £1.4 million.

View: The full report

More: Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner’s response to the report.