This blog is mainly about the governance and future of policing and crime services. (Police & Crime Commissioners feature quite a lot.) But there are also posts about the wider justice system. And because I am town councillor and political activist, local & national issues are covered a little, as well.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Secret diary of a PCC (day five)

Had a rather squiffy issue to deal with today, but needs must and all that. I took this job on to lead the whole darn show not keep delegating things to the minions. Frankly the acting Chief is really not up to the job. He thinks that because he has spent a few months at Bramshill, can walk in without a pass into the Home Office and managed the odd traffic incident that he is equipped to run a multimillion pound business. Well he is not and I am astounded that he got away with things for so long. The man cannot even add up.

I have looked through the budgets for the last couple of years and the projections for the next few. It seems as if the police authority (who have now mostly transferred to the Police & Crime Panel) and the acting Chief (heck knows what the real Chief did all day long before swanning off to Spain) have created budgets which imply an above inflation rise in council tax precept!

Surely they knew that I would win the thing and that I would refuse to raise the precept. Why on earth did they not build that into their calculations? It is simply shockingly poor arithmetic.

Anyway, I got Winger on the case and he said he would be back in this afternoon with a revised budget involving NO precept rises this year or next. It shouldn’t take him long: he tells me he is a part qualified accountant and that is good enough for me. I mean a budget is basically one big spreadsheet isn’t it?

But then the rather squiffy issue emerges. (Yes the fact that the acting Chief can’t add up isn’t my biggest problem!) Winger now keeps pestering me to say what my priorities are. I tell him, everything is a priority! He says, no, not everything can be a priority… So I tell him my number one and only priority is to cut crime. What could be simpler? Just build a budget around that.

Sometimes, I worry about Winger, because he looks at you as if you are a little bit mad combined with the kind of look you give a puppy when it has messed on top of Aga again. I must talk with him about it (and the puppy).

Anyway he has left in a huff muttering something about "why don’t we make everyone privileged as that would be easier”. I have no idea what he is talking about but I will be damned if I want everyone to be privileged – I mean what would be the point of being privileged in the first place if everyone was so. I am sure I also heard him say something like “brain the size of a Mars chocolate planet” with a deep heavy sigh too.

I am going to need to tug on Winger’s reins a bit I think…

So budget still not sorted. Ah well, I have a few days yet before we have to submit something to the Home Office. I need to get the driver to take me over to the County Council to see the leader. The young woman is out of intensive care, thank God. But he and I need to prepare our ground for when the court case starts. It seems he might have been staying in the house at the same time, celebrating some anniversary. And the champagne and snakebite breakfast may not have helped things.

Tally ho!

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