Some comments on the new Chief Constable’s remuneration
As I promised to run the office of the PCC for Essex with openness, I have published the remuneration package that I have agreed with our incoming Chief Constable, Stephen Kavanagh. It has attracted some comments so I thought I would share my views.
I determined that I should seek the best Chief Officer I could attract. Fortunately the challenge of the role of Chief Constable of Essex attracted a strong field of applicants and I was able to select Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stephen Kavanagh from a very high calibre short list.
The base salary for Chief Constables is set by national regulations so I had no flexibility other than to consider a salary 10 percent above or below the set rate at my discretion.
I took into account a number of factors but chiefly:
- that I believe DAC Kavanagh to be an exceptional candidate;
- that I have to set a remuneration package that I cannot change over the four years of the contract;
- that there is no opportunity for subsequent progression or performance related pay;
- and that were Mr Kavanagh to remain in the Metropolitan Police he would have had the prospect of further promotion to posts with very attractive remuneration.
In addition, Chief Officers all over the country enjoy what many would see as very attractive allowances to cover various costs but chiefly cars and healthcare. In recent years Kent and Essex Police Authorities settled on a fixed rate of 15 percent on top of base salary to cover all allowances (except housing). I would welcome a national review to ensure that such allowances remain appropriate for Chief Officers – many receive more than the 15 percent paid in Kent and Essex. But I judged it right to offer the established figure to Mr Kavanagh to ensure he was neither at an advantage or disadvantage against his Chief Officer colleagues. He also has an entitlement to a housing allowance that is not within my gift to alter.
Chief Constable Kavanagh will be leading Essex Police which is one of the biggest organisations in the county and whose members are responsible for all our safety. His total package of £192,000 is in step with those who lead those other organisations, and rightly so. He carries very heavy responsibilities.
The next few years will remain challenging for Essex Police. We are lucky in Essex to have exceptional and highly motivated police officers, police staff and PCSOs. They rightly deserve exceptional leadership to continue the dedicated work of Jim Barker-McCardle to face those challenges. I am certain that, in addition to bringing huge experience, Stephen Kavanagh will provide that leadership and confidently build the effectiveness of Essex Police.