Once again, main concern for SPF was the 3 year Financial plan where Sensitivity Analysis highlighted the cost of future payrises. The budget has been based on an assumption of 1% pay increases. The cost of applying a further 1% to this (a 2% payrise – which is till below current inflation!) is £25.8 million. The Force is currently budgeting for a deficit of £47.2 million and such an increase would increase this deficit by 155%. It is clear that additional Government funding is required to deliver a sustainable policing service, a point we will be making at the Politiocal Party Conferences.
Members will also note that (for the first time?) this cost has been expressed in officer terms (600 officers) . SPF is quite clear, there is no capacity for cutting officer numbers and will contest this strongly.
The iVPD was a rather unexpected addition to the agenda and SPA are to review the processes and procedures that are wrapped around that to ensure data collation and retention is proportionate, necessary and justifiable.
Closure of the C3 ACR in Inverness was given a hesitant go ahead, most likely because local councillors were in the audience and had expressed their own concerns. The Authority members asked some very relevant questions including the impact of the Inverness closure on Operational officers. The answers were not entirely convincing and SPF will monitor, raise and escalate any issues as they progress. Our experience to date however is that the initial transition can be awkward but that processes do settle and stabilise. If you have a contrary experience, let your reps know.
A helpful discussion took place re the geographic centralisation of posts and both the Depute Chief Constable and Depute Chief Officer pledged that preventing this would be a “key product” of future reform.
The disposal of 53 unused properties was also approved after assurances were received that this would not adversely impact on officers.
You can see a collection of live tweets from SPF, Unions, HMICS and others at the meeting under the hashtag #spaboard