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Crime commissioner Julia Mulligan criticised for £10,000 branding spend
11:00am Friday 30th August 2013 in News
A police and crime commissioner (PCC) has come under fire for spending more than £10,000 on branding when her force needs to find savings of £16 million.
Julia Mulligan, police and crime commissioner for North Yorkshire, defended her decision to pay consultants £10,462 for a “distinctive and recognisable brand identity”.
But the spending was condemned as unnecessary by Mark Botham, chairman of North Yorkshire Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers.
Mrs Mulligan said the branding was needed because the role of PCC was new.
She added: “This meant that like any start up, a range of one-off, practical items was needed in order for the office of the PCC to conduct its day-to-day business and present itself professionally, in a politically neutral way.
“Unlike some other police authorities, North Yorkshire had not spent money on these up beforehand.
“As a consequence, there was an early requirement for 'basics' such as logos, literature, digital designs and templates.”
Mrs Mulligan, who is the director of a marketing company, said that now the branding work was completed, the office of the PCC was “pretty much self-sufficient”.
The commissioner added that she had reduced the previous police authority budget from £1.08 million to £980,000 while at the same time improving services.
But Mr Botham criticised the spending, saying: “At a time when the police service is facing repeated cuts, we do not think this is money well spent.”
According to a recent report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constab-ulary, North Yorkshire Police needs to make £16.1 million of savings between 2011 and 2015, but had already planned how to save £11.6 million of the total.
Mrs Mulligan has also launched a £35,000 review of the communications unit at North Yorkshire Police, with the possibility of the chief constable and crime commissioner sharing press office staff.
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