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Police and Crime Commissioners (Pay)

Volume 541: debated on Wednesday 7 March 2012

On 3 November 2011, I placed a copy of the Senior Salary’s Review Body (SSRB) report and recommendations on police and crime commissioners pay in the House Library. On that day, I undertook to give the report and the recommendations thorough consideration and report my final decision in good time to allow potential PCC candidates to be clear on what they can expect their salary to be.

I would like to thank the SSRB for its work. I believe that the report sets out clearly the justification for its proposals and I intend to accept all but one of the recommendations made by the SSRB.

Recommendation 1 on PCC pay structure has taken into account the issues I consider to be important and, overall, I believe a sensible and appropriate approach has been taken. With regard to the salary range which is the subject of recommendation 2, the report has made the case for a proposed PCC salary range of £65,000—£100,000. While salary itself should not be a key motivational factor for these important new roles, the SSRB has agreed that these are important new posts. I believe their salary range ensures the right balance in terms of attracting suitable candidates while at the same time addressing the fact that public funding is constrained.

Recommendation 3 relates to the issue of performance-related pay and I agree with the SSRB’s recommendation that it would not be appropriate for PCCs to receive performance-related pay. The performance of PCCs should be judged solely by the electorate.

Recommendation 4 considers the need to reduce the salary of a PCC pro-rata for any PCCs that do not carry out the role on a full-time basis. Having reflected on the advice put forward by the SSRB, I do not propose to accept this recommendation.

We understand the intention behind it, but we believe that the best way forward is for PCCs to be clear with their electorate about what outside interests they have and for the electorate to judge them accordingly. Last year, I laid before Parliament a specified information order 2011 which sets out what information we expect PCCs to publish in order to ensure that they are sufficiently transparent on critical issues. I intend to ensure that a PCC declares any paid and/or unpaid interests that may conflict with their role or affect the amount of time that they will be devoting to it.

I also intend to accept the SSRB’s last two recommendations. Recommendation 5 relates to carrying out an independent annual review of PCC salaries and Recommendation 6 relates to completing a full review of PCC roles and their remuneration in the third year of office in order to make pay recommendations to take effect from the second round of elections in 2016.

By settling the pay structure as early as possible, I hope to ensure that potential candidates have plenty of time to consider their respective positions when deciding whether they should stand.