Police Commissioner Explains £1k Jump in Mileage Expenses
Thames Valley’s first Police & Crime Commissioner has hit back at allegations of corruption which surfaced in the national papers over the weekend.
Anthony Stansfeld, who was elected to the £85,000pa role in November 2012, was using the police station in Hungerford (local to his home), as his main base. This allowed him to claim expenses every time he travelled to the police HQ in Kidlington.
In a statement released to the press, the office of the PCC suggests, Hungerford will remain in use for the Commissioner, but that Kidlington will be the main base from now on:
The PCC’s short-term use of the office at Hungerford has not been as regular or extensive to date as it is anticipated it will be over the longer term.
The Hungerford office was made available to the PCC in February 2013 to increase his productivity by having a local base in the south of the force, near his home, to work from. The availability of this local office reduces the amount of avoidable, non-productive, time the PCC would otherwise spend travelling to his other office at Thames Valley Police Headquarters in Kidlington, near Oxford.
The availability of this local facility is particularly cost-effective on days when the PCC is undertaking his local and national duties elsewhere in the Thames Valley, away from his office at Kidlington, and especially at weekends.
Mr Stansfeld’s office states expenses incurred in the first five months were relatively high, because he was driving his own car to undertake official business. Employees using their own car can claim 45 pence back on every mile travelled, so the round trip between home and the HQ outside Oxford (74 miles) would have generated a little over £30 every time:
The mileage expenses that the PCC claimed between November 2012 – March 2013 were in respect of him incurring relatively high mileage, driving his own car, to undertake official business.
Since April the PCC has had the use of a Force ex-fleet car; this is a five-year old high mileage, low value, vehicle that was scheduled for disposal by the Force. Accordingly, the PCC has not submitted any mileage claims since then.
Anthony Stansfeld has an office of 13 staff at his disposal, two of whom (the CEO and the CFO) are on salaries exceeding £70,000.
Also in the statement released on Monday the PCC’s office defended the appointment of a part time administrative assistant and some-time chaffeur:
In April the PCC employed a part-time Support Officer working, on average, three days per week at an annual, pro-rata, cost of £12,000. The role of this post includes general administrative office support duties as well as driving duties for the PCC and the Deputy PCC.