by group editor Nicola Priest


SO Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner John Dwyer is adding to his staff with some new jobs.

The posts – carrying the grand titles of commissioning officer and planning and strategy officer and costing £60,000, are being funded by a Government grant.

However, it means that Mr Dwyer will now have 15 staff at a cost to us, the taxpayers, of £760,000.

Mr Dwyer argues that this is still £100,000 a year less than the old police authority used to cost us but it’s still not saving us much cash – which I think was the general idea of having PCCs in the first place.

Quite what these 15 staff do is less clear and I’d be really interested to know more about their roles and the value for money they provide.

But what’s really got my goat with this latest announcement is that of the 70 police staff due to lose their jobs in the latest round of budget cuts, not one of them is deemed suitable to be considered for either role. So the jobs have been advertised externally.

Admittedly my knowledge of employment law is not vast but it has always been my understanding that an employer is supposed to offer any ‘suitable alternative employment’ within an organisation or an associated company to those at risk of redundancy.

Even if that means the person might require training in order to fulfil a new role.

So I find it inconceivable that not one of the 70 people currently holding down jobs as police staff are even being allowed to have a crack at one of the new positions – instead they’ve all been thrown on the scrapheap.

I don’t know how Mr Dwyer sleeps at night, but I’m sure having 15 people to help him do his job certainly helps free the mind.