“I officially started as Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland on 22nd November 2012, which I would stress is my only job and takes all of my time. On 30th November 2012, my website was launched, which has attracted over 8,000 visitors so far. We have continued to develop and add to the website, which has a wide range of financial and other information on there as requested by the Home Affairs Select Committee.
“I am fully committed to transparency so everything is published on the website, including things like my diary, my decisions and how I hold the Force to account. I regularly take part in live webchats which cover a variety of topics. I’ve attended over 50 community meetings now, where members of the public have the opportunity to ask any question or raise their concerns.
“I have appointed a wholly independent and very skilled audit panel charged with scrutiny of the PCC and the force. External auditors have already looked at my first few months and reported on ‘Good Governance and Financial Management’ that ‘the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Force can take substantial assurance that the controls upon which the organisation relies to manage this area are suitably designed, consistently applied and effective’.
“Within the last six months, I have appointed a new Chief Constable, launched our Police and Crime Plan, prepared the budget and precept, launched our consultation programme Your Force Your Voice as well as working with partners to start achieving the objectives set out in the Police and Crime Plan.
“It is also worth highlighting that there has been a 25% decrease in the budget of the Office and Police Crime Commissioner for 2013-2014, compared to that of the previous Police Authority for 2012-2013, which equates to a reduction of £300,000, which is clearly a huge cost saving.
“Whilst welcoming the interest of the Select Committee and supporting the report’s recommendations, I would wish to counter any suggestion that I have not been willing to provide information to them. The website has all this and more available for anyone to see. It has taken some time to populate all of the site but financial information has been on the site since 28th February 2013.
“I will be reporting to the Police and Crime Panel on June 10 and will be very happy to receive any suggestions from members as to what further information should be published.”
Posted on Thursday 23rd May 2013