I’m not sure if blogging does make any difference to the real world, but on the strength of recent evidence I might have to start trying fancy dress. It certainly seems to have d for my good friend (and fellow PCC-scrutiniser) Jon Harvey.
After turning up to the local Police and Crime Panel meeting dressed as a chauffeur we actually seem to be getting somewhere on Anthony Stansfeld’s cavalier use of expenses.
It’s a bit gimmicky, perhaps, but if it works then you can’t really knock it. Jon told the BBC:
“I have come to highlight the fact that our police and crime commissioner is spending quite a lot of money on a chauffeur during times of extreme austerity and so I thought I would make a somewhat humorous point by dressing as a chauffeur.“
And whilst Mr Stansfeld might find it pathetic, the fact remains that his behaviour looks extremely suspicious. He was unable to claim expenses to travel from his rural home to the police HQ. Then he moved his main place of work to a tiny, part-time police station in Hungerford. Mr Stansfeld claimed £January, but following his “move” to the Hungerford office those travel expenses increased by over 8,000% to £.
Mr Stansfeld might think that he’s excellent value for money, but the rest of us will be watching with interest for the results of the independent audit which has been ordered to look into the matter.
I am still less than enamoured of the oversight processes for Police and Crime Commissioners. Mr Stansfeld still seems to have a scary amount of power combined with a dangerous attitude towards transparency and responsibility in public office (especially for somea mandate of less than 8% of the electorate).
But we shall see.