Midland police office to cost £730k

The cost of running the office of West Mercia's police commissioner will run to almost three-quarters of a million pounds this year, it was revealed today.

Midland police office to cost £730k

The budget for staffing the office of West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner Bill Longmore is £730,000 for 2013/14.

Police commissioners were set up to cut down on costly bureaucracy in police forces.

But the cost of Mr Longmore's office is just £35,000 less than the budget for 2011/12 for the former West Mercia Police Authority, when £765,000 was spent on staff pay and member allowances.

In 2012/13, the costs were £774,000, affected by having to pay part-year costs for the police authority and part-year costs for the commissioner's office.

The figures have been revealed in response to a request under the Freedom of Information Act. They include both wages and members' allowances and come as it was revealed a further £22 million of cuts need to be made by West Mercia Police by 2019.

Mr Longmore, who revealed yesterday he is to undergo an operation for lung cancer, said he will continue to seek "economies and efficiencies" within his own office and West Mercia Police force as a whole.

But his office is due to take on more staff in the next financial year as PCCs become responsible for additional services connected to victims of crime and rehabilitation work. Extra Government money is expected to cover the costs. Mr Longmore is paid £75,000 per year and his deputy Barrie Sheldon is on £50,000 per year.

Mr Longmore said: "I can assure the public that I continue to seek economies and efficiencies both within my own office, the force and the widening range of responsibilities being transferred by the Government to PCCs."

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