Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner today insisted he always felt he would be cleared of any wrongdoing over claims he fiddled his expenses.
Speaking at a roadshow event in Lytham, Clive Grunshaw revealed it had been a “long 12 months” but was relieved accusations he had “double charged” the taxpayer for journeys during his time with Lancashire County Council and Lancashire Police Authority had been dropped on Thursday.
Mr Grunshaw said: “Of course it is a relief.
“I have always been optimistic and always thought this would be the case. After so long – more than 12 months – it puts an end to the discussion.
“The challenges in the job have been so demanding.
“It has been so busy, but we can now move on to the subject of delivering on our targets.”
Mr Grunshaw was speaking at Booths in Haven Road, Lytham, as part of efforts to address a £20m shortfall in the policing budget by possibly increasing council tax.
He added: “People have given us lots of feedback online and now I want to speak to people across the county.
“The response so far has been excellent and very positive. It is no secret we are facing a significant financial challenge and, based on the financial settlement received in December, we now know we need to save up to £20m by 2017/18. Income raised through council tax is a vital source of police funding – and asking people to pay more is something I need to consider in order to relieve the pressure on frontline policing.”
How much will you pay for policing?
How much are you prepared to pay to see more police officers on the beat?
That’s the question Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw will ask, as he speaks to residents about the possibility of increasing the amount households pay for policing through their council tax.
He said: “We have three options. We stay as we are, we look to increase council tax by two per cent, to around 6p a week for a band D property, or we increase it by five per cent to around 15p a week for a band D property.
“So far, we have found many people support the final option.
“If we make up the deficit, it won’t lead to an increase in police officers or PCSOs, but will allow us to maintain policing numbers.”
Further roadshow events are planned at Fleetwood Library on Tuesday between 10am and noon, Blackpool Library between 1.30pm and 3.30pm the same day and the City Learning Centre in Grange Park at 1pm on Wednesday.