Monday, 23 September 2013


Adam Simmonds, Northamptonshire’s newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner has hardly set the a blazing trail when it comes to any noticeable crime reduction and his very public promise to reduce violent crime by 40% whilst in office seems laughable given the recent spate of violent attacks in the County.
But he certainly gets his fair share of press inches. Hardly surprising really when you find out that since his election he has appointed 11 staff alone to work in the press room of his self named West Wing office! More than even work for either our beloved Herald and Post? or the Chronicle and Echo? and possibly both combined!
He has assistant commissioners and directors coming out the wood work overspending any comparable previous Police Authority budget four fold, We now have four assistant commissioners to help him in his task, 9 senior managers and policy advisors to work under them, 7 news producers , 2 digital media producers, a plethora of admin support and we haven’t even mentioned the soon to be appointed Faith Director and new victims Tsar. 
All posts we never knew we needed, carrying out tasks we never knew needed doing, and all at a cost of well in excess of £1m
Well at least his press team have plenty to write about, remember his pledge to bring back the old style Dr Who Police Boxes? Why? Haven’t we all got mobile phones now? Or his comments on drug use and children on Radio 4 recently when he said:
“It’s about educating our kids about proper drug use, from my point of view we can give out leaflets until we are blue in the face with kids. So we’ve got to teach kids. if they are going to use drugs, how to use them responsibly”
Most of us would simply rather teach them not to use them at all !
I sometimes wonder just when this very special Northampton clown and his bizarre statements will be judged to have gone too far?
Well last week he was at it again when addressing a group of chief fire officers he told them in his own words that “I haven’t come here to blow smoke up your skirts “ (whatever that means) before outlining to them his plans to take over the blue light universe.
He told the puzzled audience that his vision is that in 20 years time we would combine all of our blue light services who would be all singing all dancing “Emergency response workers” he envisages hundreds of thousands of young people signing up to be trained as multi skilled fire/ambulance/police operatives all at a time when in his own words “laws have changed and we’ve made a seriously important shift in our thinking about how we deploy, recruit and retain staff and work out a way to pay for the kind of protection our communities need.”
In other words more volunteers, more zero hr contracts and smaller budgets. In Simmond’s mind I guess they are all volunteers signed up to the “Big Society” taking it in turns to scrape up the remains of the dead from our motorways as part of them achieving their “roadside assistance” badge.
He begins by saying “Am I talking about a police car turning up to a fire with a ladder on the roof and buckets of water in the boot? No?” and then later on in his speech suggests just that when he informed his ever stunned audience that his vision of a response to a car crash in 20 years time would be that “we could perhaps consider sending just one vehicle to the incident, equipped with the relevant cutting equipment and the people trained to use them, equipped with the relevant medical equipment and someone with relevant medical expertise, and someone with the skills to maintain the scene of a potential crime.”
So one vehicle with firefighting equipment ladders? Cutters? Water to put out the engine fire? And with medical equipment with stretchers? And oxygen? And cones and lights and police and crime investigation equipment and a multi skilled team? WOW thats some vehicle and what happens when the medical experts want to take the injured to hospital do they then unload all the multi equipment and leave the rest of the team there at the roadside? Perhaps to get a taxi back to base later. Would we when injured in our vehicle be asked to both relax, stay calm and blow into this bag all at the same time?
Adam Simmonds ever bizarre statements and and lack of any meaningful action are not just embarrassing, they are also an insult to the professionalism of our Police, Fire and Ambulance officers who all at present do a very difficult and dangerous job despite being beaten up at every opportunity sometimes by a ungrateful community and continouously a government which simply sees them as a large budget head to be constantly cut back and abused.
For me enough is enough We HAVE to find a way to get this man out of post, and we need to put more pressure on two so far silent MP’s to bring him under some form of control. We also need to stop his over zealous ambitions and spending at a time when so many others in the public sector are seeing their budgets slashed.
Let’s also be clear here about the backdrop to all this unnecessary spend and activity. Last year it is assumed that 5 children died unnecessarily in Northamptonshire because our children’s service were inadequate, the single case reviews once published will no doubt have the whole country shouting out in outrage and calling for changes.
And yet in the last few years we have made experienced Social Workers redundant, replaced them with trainees, we have stretched case loads beyond the limit, and agencies including Social Services and the Police have stopped talking to each other because they are all too busy coping with their own cost centre savings.
THOSE CHILDREN IN MY MIND WERE THE VICTIMS OF AUSTERITY AND CUT BACKS TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT FUNDING and yet in the very shadow of their lost lives we have this egotistic maniac spending millions of pounds of public money on an ever growing army of unnecessary people all fulfilling unnecessary duties.
For a start, what should the 11 press staff he employs really do about promoting his words above? The best they could probably do is ignore them and hope no one had noticed.
It is nothing less than an insult to our local democratic society that we have to witness such extremes of heartbreaking failures due to lack of local government funding and yet at the same time witness such incompetent decision making being seen to be rewarded with ever rising administrative budgets.
This is not a political point I am making, I would say the same of anyone with the same agenda as this individual irrespective of their politics. But I would also urge the Tory party to rid us of this man before we are given the opportunity as electors to do so ourselves in 2016.
Every day he is in office their local credibility as a party will drop ever further downwards.



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