THE Thames Valley’s police and crime commissioner has defended the appointment of a £76,000-a-year finance chief.

Anthony Stansfeld is planning to make savings of more than £230,000 from his staff pay budget in this financial year.

Mr Stansfeld is recommending that the post is given to Ian Thompson, who has been acting chief finance officer since November 2012.

He will be given a salary of £76,000 compared to Mr Stansfeld’s £85,000.

The PCC’s staff pay budget for 2013/14 was £771,347, compared to £533,347 in 2014/15.

Mr Stansfeld said: “He was originally appointed by the police authority and this is purely a procedural issue which we have to do legally. There is no change.

“It is one of two positions I have to appoint. The other is the chief executive and that has already been through the police and crime panel.”

As chief finance officer, Mr Thompson will also be the PCC’s deputy chief executive.

His responsibilities will include advising Mr Stansfeld on financial planning and being the person responsible for the administration of the PCC’s financial affairs.

PCC spokeswoman Candy Stallard said the position is not a new one.

She said: “The appointment by the PCC of a chief finance officer is a statutory requirement.

“Assuming the appointment of the proposed candidate is confirmed, this will represent a change from a temporary acting role to a permanent appointment for the member of staff involved.

“Given all of the above context, this change of role does not represent a new post – it simply reflects the outcome of an organisational restructure that has been under development over the last 18 months since the PCC was elected.”

On the issue of staffing cost reductions Ms Stallard said: “The bulk of the savings represent a formal reduction in the staffing establishment and budget, compared to that approved by the former police authority, which reflects the new Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner staff structure agreed by the PCC.”

She could not give any more details.

The structure of PCC staff is being reorganised to take into account new legal responsibilities, which have been introduced since Mr Stansfeld was first elected in 2012.

This includes the responsibility for commissioning victim support services.

The Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel will meet tomorrow in High Wycombe to decide whether to approve his chosen candidate for the PCC’s chief finance officer, an appointment which is part of the reorganisation.

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