WEB POLL: Police Commissioner’s spending

PCC Julia Mulligan.
PCC Julia Mulligan.
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This week the Ripon Gazette carried a story about the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Julia Mulligan who has come under fire for spending thousands of pounds on “marketing” at a time when North Yorkshire Police is facing intense cuts.

It has emerged she has commissioned a £10,462 consultation on branding identity and a new logo for the commission and a £34,200 communications review.

North Yorkshire County Councillor David Simister (UKIP, Bilton and Nidd Gorge) has described the expenditure as a “criminal waste of taxpayer’s money”, adding “what the public of North Yorkshire wants is a visible police force – we want Bobbies on the beat, not fancy logos”.

And chairman of the North Yorkshire Police Federation, Mark Botham, has called for more scrutiny of the PCC’s office, saying “it’s all style and no substance – who’s holding her to account?”.

But Mrs Mulligan, a former York councillor and director of a marketing company, has fiercely defended the spend, insisting it was about more than branding. The money paid for “basic tools” she said, including newsletters, illustrations and photography.

Mrs Mulligan added: “When I came into office it was a completely new set up. This is a bit of a silly story. Trying to say it was spent on brand identity is completely wrong.

“It was spent on a range of technical tools. Part of that was a logo, but there was photography, illustrations and literature templates for newsletters.

“This was just setting the office up and getting the practical tools that we need that allow us to be independent.”

Overall, she said, the PCC was far more efficient than the Police Authority it replaced – reducing budgets this year by £100,000 from £1.08m to £980,000.

“All of this is being done for far less than the Police Authority spent previously, “ she said. “We’ve got rid of high paying, bureaucratic posts.

“We’ve looked at the best way to deliver the service that we can serve the public the best way we can.”

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