– Arnott accuses Baird of being a ‘graduate of the Tony Blair School of Economics’
– New figures reveal Northumbria police spent £165,681 in 2013/2014 on two external contracts to companies providing translation services.
Labour’s Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, has been urged to ‘stop pouring taxpayers cash down the drain’, by UKIP’s Euro MP, Jonathan Arnott.
The call comes as Baird released a survey asking residents whether they would be prepared to ‘pay more for policing’.
Baird is responsible for setting the police precept – the amount everyone pays for policing in their council tax bills – the maximum it can be raised without the need for a referendum is 1.99%.
Mr Arnott, UKIP’s local Euro MP, said “Ms Baird is clearly a graduate of the Tony Blair School of Economics – here she is wishing to push up people’s taxes whilst under here watch taxpayers’ money is being poured down the drain. Only last month we heard how £10,428 was needed to repair police cars after 77 fuelling errors, currently Northumbria Police Force are advertising for a ‘Corporate Communications Adviser’ on a salary of up to £28,000, whilst continuing to splash tens of thousands of pounds each year on third party translators. The situation is an utter farce”.
Recent figures unveiled in an FOI request to Northumbria Police shows that the force have two external contracts – one for telephone services (Language Line), and one for face to face interpreting and translation (ITL) on an as-needed basis.
In 2013/14, £165,681 was spent on these services.
Northumbria Police Force were criticised in 2011 for taking a delivery of a £50,000 ‘steel ball in a hula hoop’ sculpture on the day staff were told 450 jobs are to go.
Arnott added “At a time where front line jobs have been cut, we need to take a long hard look at paper-pushing backroom staff, who are often on inflated salaries, to ensure our streets are kept safe and we that we get the best possible value for the taxpayer”.