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PCC to employ private secretary at cost of up to £36,000

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: March 07, 2013

Martin Surl

Comments (9)

QUESTIONS have been raised over police boss Martin Surl seeking to employ a private secretary at a cost of up to £36,000.

But the Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) said the role will be "better value for money" than a deputy.

Other PCCs have controversially employed former colleagues as their deputies at a cost to tax payers of up to £50,000.

Mr Surl, whose own salary is £65,000, pledged not to follow suit when he was elected. So far six members of staff have transferred over to his office from the former police authority and two temporary people have been contracted.

He is now seeking someone to be his private secretary and help influence relationships with stakeholders, manage his diary, represent him at meetings and identify influences that will impact on the PCC's office.

An advertisement on Gloucestershire Constabulary's website said the full-time role was one of 'management not administrative level' and will pay from £34,005 to £36,030.

A source from within the constabulary raised concerns the pay grade was considerably higher than other similar roles within the organisation.

The chief constable's PA is paid about £29,000, the chief executive's gets about £24,000 and the average minimum secretary's salary is £22,376.

They said if Mr Surl appoints a private secretary, existing employees could ask for a pay rise off the back of it, resulting in an extra £113,000 of taxpayers' money needing to be spent.

But Mr Surl has countered the criticism, saying the role is more similar to a staff officer which the chief constable has in addition to her PA.

He also said the rate of pay was determined independently of him.

Mr Surl said: "I made it clear from the moment I was elected that unlike many other PCCs I would not be appointing a deputy who would have attracted a salary in the region of £45,000 per annum.

"A private secretary will not replicate that post but will be expected to make an important contribution to the running my office and in that respect will give much better value for money."

The closing date is March 15.

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  • Aletheia  |  March 11 2013, 8:14PM

    If there is one thing I and I believe many other people would like, is a statement outlining the true total cost of having a PCC as opposed to a Police Authority. He obviously needs some staff and I really don't care whether he employes a secretary, a driver or a cleaner. We were led to believe that Police Authorities were too large, too costly and thereby not really good value and this government rhetoric was used to make public resistance to the change minimal. I was quite happy with a Police Authority as it was made up of local councillors of different political persuasions, magistrates and I believe some lay members. Because it was effectively a committee it meant that no undue control could be asserted by an individual. I and many others, could see that the government's change could be an absolute disaster because very few people were interested in the issue and that left the door open to an extremist or to political control. To prevent political control I voted for Martin Surl and if he had not been standing I would have been looking for a sensible independent to vote for. What I would like from Mr Surl are the true costs of the Police Authority compared to his regime to reassure me that having a PCC really is not an extra expense. By true costs I mean everything, the cost of buildings, power, staff, vehicles, stationery, absolutely eveything. How about it Martin?

  • Judas  |  March 08 2013, 11:15AM

    Nice one Mr Surl. TiG tried to turn the Gloucestershire public against you, and you used their attempted slur for a free advert. Well done!!

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  • sticks_stones  |  March 07 2013, 11:53PM

    "Looks a good job. I'd apply myself, but I'm already spoken for." - " Ms_Superstar" Thank God for that... All the best to Mr Surl, I'm sure he will do a good job - given the circumstances we are all up against - good luck sir, now ,crack some skulls!

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  • Ms_Superstar  |  March 07 2013, 9:40PM

    Looks a good job. I'd apply myself, but I'm already spoken for.

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  • MartinSurl  |  March 07 2013, 7:00PM

    Some may be interested to read the job description which is set out below so people can make their own judgement. Normally TiG charge us to advertise jobs.................... Martin Surl Commissioner Less Crime, More Peace and Good Order Post title: Private Secretary to the Police and Crime Commissioner Summary of role: This new role will be the principle link between the PCC, the Chief Executive, the Constabulary, and other stakeholders. You will be the 'eyes and ears' of the PCC with an indepth knowledge of the local and national political arena, sound judgement and a public affairs perspective. You will work closely and effectively with colleagues in the PCC's office, ensuring that the work is coordinated and efficiently dealt with. Business area: Police and Crime Commissioner's Office Reports to: Police and Crime Commissioner Responsible for: Grade: PO2 MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES 1. Ensure that the aims and priorities of the Police and Crime Plan are implemented by developing working relationships, influencing stakeholders and determining the activities (e.g. across agencies) for a successful outcome. 2. Manage the PCC's programme of events around the county, region and nationally, sift and prioritise invitations and commitments. Liaising with the Chief Executive, manage the diary and reallocate activities to other members of the team. 3. Manage the arrangements for official visits. Accompany the PCC to meetings and events to advise and brief the PCC and to keep a record of the discussions and commitments. 4. Represent the PCC at events and meetings as directed by the PCC. 5. Prepare the PCC; write presentations and briefing material, to ensure the PCC is prepared to undertake internal and public engagements. Give and arrange briefings for the PCC. 6. Identify and respond to future influences that will impact on the PCC's Office. Evaluate and review relevant information in order to brief and make recommendations to the PCC to influence strategic decisions. 7. Plan and make for proposals expenditure to ensure the PCC's commitments are met within agreed budgets. Monitoring and allocating resources day to day. 8. Execute additional tasks in order to meet the PCC's objectives and commitments. MINIMUM CRITERIA Political acumen and/or a Public Affairs perspective, educated to degree level or equivalent experience. Dynamic and effective people manager with experience of balancing demanding and competing priorities Good working knowledge of national and local influences on Policing and Crime. Experience of budget management The ability to communicate, influence and persuade internal and external stakeholders and manage their demands. ROLE PROFILE TEMPLATE February 2013 REQUIREMENTS Vetting Level: Personnel will be vetted to the minimum Police Basic Check (PBC). A higher level of vetting may be required for certain roles or grades and suitable clearance will be required before appointment or deployment. Mobility: The PPC reserves the right to require you to carry out any other duties or move you to any other post appropriate to your grade, at any location within the county of Gloucestershire, as business requirements dictate. Working Pattern: A flexible approach to work is required for this role. Normal working hours will average 37 per week or will be pro rata. This will be worked subject to the needs of the PCC's office, working out of normal working hours and may involve shift, night, weekend and public holiday working Standards of Professional Behaviour: All members of Police Staff/Police Officers must comply with these standards. Driving Licence: A valid UK driving licence is essential for driving throughout the county and the UK. Travel: A significant amount of travel will be undertaken around the County and the UK. Training and development: Undertake the required training and development to maintain working knowledge.

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  • zalapompadoo  |  March 07 2013, 6:39PM

    i thought he was going to get his dalmatian to do his paperwork

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  • safeandnice  |  March 07 2013, 5:51PM

    So far he's doing a much better job of keeping his costs down than reporst about other PCCs. If he's also set up a charity with some of his salary to fund local crime fighting groups thats another win too

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  • Ms_Superstar  |  March 07 2013, 4:48PM

    Well he's saved the taxpayer £9,000. That's a start. Perhaps if he could encourage the police to adopt a policy of crime prevention instead of being not much use after crime has happened, he could raise public opinion of the police and justify the money they cost. On the other hand, crime could be handled separately from the police, thus freeing them up to pursue motorists. After all, he's responsible for both police and crime.

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  • Morrigan  |  March 07 2013, 9:16AM

    So much for accountability to the public. Why not just create a guestbook online, and we can work out our own problems while Martin Surl sharpens his pencils, and straightens his papers?

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