Branch chair meets MPs to highlight ‘unfair’ disparity in pay


PUBLISHED 11 Dec 2023

IN News

Cambridgeshire Police Federation chair Liz Groom met with county MPs to highlight the “unfair” disparity in payment of the south east allowance with neighbouring forces.

Liz hopes the meeting with North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vera and Jonathan Djanogly, the Huntingdon MP, will help to bring officers inline with colleagues in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, who are in receipt of the allowance.

Liz said it was particularly unfair for those officers who work in collaboration with other officers from Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, who are paid more for essentially doing the same job.

She said: “In Bedfordshire, their officers get an additional payment of £1,500 per year and in Hertfordshire they get an extra £3,000 per year.

“It’s especially unfair for the 149 officers we’ve got working in collaboration with colleagues from Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire in our armed policing unit, our roads policing unit, on major crimes.

“We’re the only force that collaborates with two other forces in receipt of the south east allowance that doesn’t receive it.

“So our members can be sat on a desk with someone who gets £3,000 more than them for doing the same job. It’s a massive fairness issue.”

As well as the MPs, Liz was joined at the meeting by Chief Constable Nick Dean and Police and Crime Commissioner Darryl Preston.
It’s the latest stage of a two-year campaign to get the payment introduced in Cambridgeshire.

Liz said: “Our MPs are supportive, our Chief Constable is supportive and our Police and Crime Commissioner is supportive.

“They all agree we should get it, but it’s not their decision. It sits with the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB).

“The Federation isn’t working with the PRRB at the moment.

“We did meet the PRRB last year during the pay negotiations and their reps did came to the Force.

“I put it to them then, but there wasn’t a huge lot of interest and it certainly wasn’t reflected in the report that went to PRRB.

“We’re in this position because it’s not in our budget set by Government, so our Chief can’t give it, even if he had the money, which he doesn’t.”

She added: “We’ve been trying to move it forward for some time, but it feels like we’re banging our heads against a brick wall.”

Following the meeting, Mr Vara told the Hunts Post that he and Mr Djanogly, along with other Cambridgeshire MPs, would raise the issue of the south east allowance with the Home Secretary James Cleverly.

Mr Vara said: “It simply isn’t right that while officers in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire receive this allowance, their colleagues in Cambridgeshire are excluded from it, despite the very close collaboration between the forces.”

Liz said that she also discussed the need for a fairer national police funding formula with the MPs.

“We also spoke to them about the fact that we’re a really poorly funded force,” she said.

“We’re one of the lowest funded forces per head of population in the country and it doesn’t reflect the cost of living in Cambridgeshire.

“It’s more expensive to live in Cambridge than Oxford, which is covered by Thames Valley and they get south east allowance.”