Suffolk Police Authority cuts meetings to reduce costs

Colin Spence Authority chairman Colin Spence is backing a cut in the number of meetings

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The Suffolk Police Authority is aiming to save £15,500 by cutting the number of committee meetings it holds.

As part of the government's Spending Review, the Suffolk Constabulary has estimated it will have to save about £25m over four years.

The police authority has agreed cut the number of meetings from 81 to 42.

Fewer meetings would mean a saving of £8,000 in catering, printing and travel expenses, plus one fewer sub-committee chairperson would save £7,473.

Colin Spence, chairman of the Suffolk Police Authority, said: "The policing budget for Suffolk is due to significantly decrease in the coming years.

"It is the responsibility of the authority to identify how it can continue to carry out our essential functions with significantly fewer resources."

Following the government's Spending Review, the authority believes the savings which have to be made could be slightly smaller than the original estimates.

The authority - which sets the budget, outlines priorities and monitors performance - met to identify cuts on Friday.

Part of the police authority reorganisation includes merging the Engaging Communities Committee and the Human Resources and Staff Liaison Committee.

With one fewer committee chairman, this would save the "chairmanship allowance".

The government has said it wants to abolish police authorities in 2012 and replace them with directly-elected commissioners.

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