Police chiefs back savings proposals
POLICE chiefs have today backed proposals to make savings of £8 million over three years in Suffolk.At a monthly meeting Suffolk Police Authority agreed to back proposals by Deputy Chief Constable Colin Langham-Fitt to restructure the force.
POLICE chiefs have today backed proposals to make savings of £8 million over three years in Suffolk.
At a monthly meeting Suffolk Police Authority agreed to back proposals by Deputy Chief Constable Colin Langham-Fitt to restructure the force.
The savings need to be made in order to modernise policing to counter threats such as terrorism at a time when funding from central government is declining.
However the moves and the strict time-table, which means they must be implemented by December, has left some staff fearing for their jobs.
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Unison branch secretary Megan Howes said: “At the moment some of the staff are worried. It hasn't been decided what areas will be affected but we are worried it will mainly be admin, finance and HR staff.
“Staff in those departments are extremely anxious at the moment.”
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A project group has been set up which will examine areas where cuts can be made.
Their first meeting will be on August 13 and a road show will travel to the western and southern areas next month to keep staff there up to date.
Additionally 40 posts which have recently been vacated are being kept empty in order to give flexibility to move staff into these jobs rather than making redundancies.
Police authority chair Gulsham Kayembe said: “This is a massive challenge for all of us but the authority feels we have no choice in this matter. We either take positive action now or we create problems for the future.
“However I am convinced that if we handle this properly we can achieve the efficiency savings and take care of our staff by moving people around rather than having many redundancies.”
Speaking after the meeting Deputy Chief Constable Langham-Fitt said he was pleased the authority had backed the proposals. “We are fortunate in Suffolk that we have had sound financial management and we are still masters of our destiny.”
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