UKIP police commissioner candidate questions salary package of Essex Police’s chief constable

Stephen Kavanagh, Chief Constable of Essex Police.

Stephen Kavanagh, Chief Constable of Essex Police. - Credit: Su Anderson

A candidate for the Essex Police and Crime Commissioner role has questioned the ‘high’ salary paid to the chief constable of Essex Police.

Bob Spink. UKIP's Police and Crime Commissioner candidate in Essex

Bob Spink. UKIP's Police and Crime Commissioner candidate in Essex - Credit: Archant

Bob Spink who is standing for UKIP in the May elections, said he would “put front line policing before excessive salaries.”

He stopped short of saying it would be his policy if elected to cut Stephen Kavanagh’s pay, as he believed the cost of amending the contract would be greater than the money saved.

However he questioned whether, at a time when PCSOs and police station staff face redundancy, the chief constable should also consider a pay cut both in a gesture of solidarity and to free up more money for frontline spending.

Mr Kavanagh receives a total remuneration package, including allowances, of £192,163 a year over his four-year contract. As he began his police service prior to September 1 1994 he is entitled to a housing allowance, included within this figure.


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The Prime Minister’s basic salary, without factors such as housing provided at Downing Street and Chequers, is £142,500.

Mr Spink, a former MP, said: “Our fight for more funds should not be with Essex people, it should be with the Treasury and out of touch Tory MPs whose spending priorities put overseas aid and EU subsidies before essential services like the NHS, police and fire.

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“The Tory police commissioner agrees with the Chief Constable that Essex people should pay more for less while crime rises. They’re well out-of-touch.

“Unlike the Tories, I’ll put front line policing before excessive salaries and vanity projects.

“The Prime Minister’s salary should be enough to motivate someone to do the best job possible.”

An Essex Police spokesman said Mr Kavanagh would not comment on a political issue or on whether he would take a pay cut.

A spokesman from the Essex Police and Crime Commissioner’s office said Nick Alston would not comment on the political issue.

However Mr Alston did make a series of statements ahead of the chief constable’s start date in May 2013, in which he said a previous chief constable received a total remuneration of £215,896 in 2008-9, and would have received £220,015 the following year had he not retired.

Mr Alston said at the time: “Stephen’s passion to lead Essex Police for a full four years and to serve the people was crystal clear. We had an outstanding field of candidates, of whom Stephen was the very best.

“Therefore, I have decided to use the discretion given to me under legislation to ensure Stephen is remunerated at the top end of the agreed national range.”

Commissioners can set a chief constable’s salary within a 10% range, but only at the time the appointment is made.

Mr Alston, who was a Conservative candidate, has announced he is stepping down at the commissioner elections in May.

The Tories have selected county councillor Roger Hirst as their new candidate. The other main parties are still undergoing a selection process.

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