Police penalised’ over claim for merger costs compensation

PUBLISHED: 13:28 02 November 2006 | UPDATED: 14:52 12 May 2010

A CLAIM of £194,000 from Herts police to meet the costs of scrapped merger plans will not be met by the Home Office. It has decided to pay only £100,000 towards the costs of the work undertaken on the proposals. Ian Laidlaw-Dickson, chairman of the Herts

A CLAIM of £194,000 from Herts police to meet the costs of scrapped merger plans will not be met by the Home Office.

It has decided to pay only £100,000 towards the costs of the work undertaken on the proposals.

Ian Laidlaw-Dickson, chairman of the Herts Police Authority, said he was "disappointed" at the outcome of the claim for compensation.

He said, however, he was not surprised at the Home Office reaction.

Under Home Office proposals Herts was set to be merged with Bedfordshire and Essex police.

"We took seriously our responsibility to involve the people we represent in a debate that has dominated police business and the headlines since last September.

"Our claim for £194,000 was reasonable and justified, and did not include any allowances for the hundreds of staff hours that were taken up with issues relating to the merger proposals," he said.

Mr Laidlaw-Dickson said he believed that Herts police had been "penalised" for the "extensive efforts" which were made on the merger issue.

Cllr Allan Witherick, a Liberal Democrat member of the police authority, said it was "unacceptable" that there was not proper compensation.

"Instead the Government has left us to pay out the wasted money from our limited reserves and council tax," he said.

And Liberal Democrat police spokesman, Cllr Michael Colne, said the exercise was a "needless waste" of cash.

- The Home Office has reduced Cambridgeshire police claim for £242,000 has been reduced to £100,000.

Proposals for Cambridgeshire were to see it merged with Norfolk and Suffolk.

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