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Brightest and best needn’t cost the most

February 14, 2014
TWO'S COMPANY: The bright, smiling face of our good citizens of tomorrow

TWO’S COMPANY: The bright, smiling face of our good citizens of tomorrow

GOOD housekeeping was one of the attributes for which our greatest 20th century peacetime prime minister will be remembered.

As a grocer’s daughter, Margaret Thatcher knew that value is more expensive than price.

Some 15 months down the line at Staffordshire’s Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and the thinking is innovation, innovation, innovation when it comes to meeting the challenge of being responsible for setting the budget for policing, community safety AND reducing crime.

Good progress has been made working with the police in bringing in new arrangements to make significant financial savings.

The approach has been “get new thinking and talent flowing” and the upshot has seen the recruiting of new officers for the first time in years as well as being personally involved with the launch and ongoing running of the Staffordshire Young Police Cadets Service.

As the deputy police and crime commissioner this has been a wonderful experience for me – and I hope for those bright, young citizens of the future.

We’ve had to make significant savings in tandem with improving services with the ultimate goal of giving Staffordshire the best police service in the country within two years.

We’re planning no increase in the police council tax – the police and community safety portion of your council tax bill.

The easy option would have been to turn to local council taxpayers across the county to meet a shortfall of £4.3million in the budget

Through good house-keeping we want to spend every penny of public money better. It’s about continuing to drive efficiencies, spend money more effectively in a joined up way and ensure Staffordshire Police and local authorities have the resources to keep crime reducing.

In the coming year, £2.5 million will be going to local areas to fund community safety projects, which is more than twice as much as ever before.

The plans for the next few years are ambitious, so we’ll need new blood and the brightest and best talent to deliver them.

But it should never necessarily mean that ‘brightest and best’ should cost the most . . .

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