Open Letter to PFC Commissioner Mulligan
by TIM HICKS
Dear Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner Mulligan,
Open Letter concerning Chief Constable Winward charging the cost of her FBI reunion in Helsinki to North Yorkshire Police
Further to my article below, I write concerning Chief Constables Winward charging her membership of the FBI National Academy Alumni and her visit to Helsinki to attend an FBI reunion to North Yorkshire Police.
I feel sure you would agree that in these austere times, it is essential that North Yorkshire Police draws a line under its history of past excesses and abuses by Chief Police Officers described in my article. These abuses have gone on for too long and have cost the taxpayers of North Yorkshire hundreds of thousands of pounds in the time I have been covering North Yorkshire Police.
The furore over Chief Constable Sean Price’s Estonia conference demonstrates public resistance to foreign travel for vague, undefined training that is not relevant to their role. I believe it is important that the Chief Constable sets a personal example of commitment to value for money, integrity, stringent financial control and financial probity. Particularly as you are now trying to obtain a major increase in the Community Charge to finance policing in North Yorkshire. It seems wrong to me that Chief Constable Winward is asking for an increase of £30.00 per household in North Yorkshire, while spending over £2,000 a year on foreign trips. Put another way, sixty eight homes in North Yorkshire will have increased taxation, to pay for the Chief Constable’s annual alumni reunions.
On this basis, I would be grateful if you would:
Chief Constable Winward
- Prohibit any further attendance at FBINAA events at the taxpayers’ expense. This will still leave Chief Constable Winward free to attend these events at her own expense.
- Prohibit any further settlement of Chief Constable Winward’s FBINAA membership on the grounds that this is private expenditure which has no relevance to Chief Constable Winward’s duties.
- Ask Chief Constable Winward to refund the £17.99 membership fee for the FBI National Academy Alumni and the costs of her attendance at the FBI National Academy Alumni Conference including travel. (This is entirely consistent with the action you took against Chief Constable Maxwell and Deputy Chief Constable Briggs, who received a£100,000 in training allowances that they were not able to justify).
- Order Chief Constable Winward to put the duty time spent on the FBI National Academy Alumni Conference as leave and deduct it from her 2019 holiday allowance.
- Reform the governance over training for Chief Officers to prevent any future abuses. Specifically, please can ensure that a formal training plan for all Chief Officers, which specifies their training needs. This will ensure that all training courses booked are valid and address the training needs identified in the training plan. It will also secure tight financial control over training, that value for money is obtained and that training is relevant to the needs of policing in North Yorkshire.
- Direct that henceforth all training courses are paid for through the training budget and are subject to the governance and supervision, not slipped through via personal expenses claims. These measures are normal in large organisations in the public sector and there is no reason why they cannot be adopted in North Yorkshire Police, to uphold financial control over training, value for money and efficiency generally.
Chief Constable Madgwick (Retired)
- Write to Chief Constable Madgwick (Retired) and ask him to refund the payments he received from North Yorkshire Police for his charitable work with the Special Olympics GB and ask him to submit his expenses to the SOGB, which is the appropriate body to fund them. (This is entirely consistent with the action you took against Chief Constable Maxwell and Deputy Chief Constable Briggs, who received a£100,000 in training allowances that they were not able to justify).
I believe that only the highest standards of financial control, openness and accountability are acceptable over public funds. Secrecy around the Chief Constable’s expenses and how much time she spends on leave each year are unacceptable.
I have written to Chief Constable Winward on this matter, but she has chosen not to comment as yet.
I hope this is helpful and will lead to an improvement in financial control in North Yorkshire Police.
I look forward to your response in due course, which I would wish to publish.