Matthew Grove, the Conservative candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside has proposed selling the Police Authority's offices.
The Humberside Police Authority does not need to have its offices located in the rather grand former gentleman’s club at Pacific Exchange, 40 High Street in Hull, a property valued at up to £0.5 million.
The oak panelled former gentleman’s club with deep carpet and leather Chesterfield sofas is more in keeping with the House of Lords – therefore my intention if elected, would be to sell off this luxurious building and relocate to somewhere more modest, with my priority being to share a suitable building with another local organisation as near to the Humber Bridge as possible.
This will reduce the costs for both the Commissioner’s Office for any partner organisation with which an existing building will be shared. A location near the Humber Bridge will ensure the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner is more readily accessible to those people on both the North and South Bank.
What could the money go on?
The up to £0.5 million of capital released from the sale of the building will be utilised to create a Community Crime Prevention Fund, used to match fund suitable capital projects brought forward by community groups such as Parish and Town Councils, Neighbourhood Watch Groups, Neighbourhood Networks or Crime Reduction Partnerships. Examples of projects that could benefit from this fund could include CCTV cameras, vehicle activated signs, gates, and youth shelters.
A very sensible proposal and I suspect that other PCC candidates could usefully look at equivalents.
Can the residents of Humberside be confident that their Labour candidate Lord Prescott would show similar concern and ability to eliminate extravagance and ensure value for money?