THE ESSEX Police Crime Commissioner has gone on the record to set the record straight over his office costs.
Mr Alston made the statement after the Daily Mail published a story that claimed that £16,952 of taxpayers’ cash was spent on re-vamp of the office that was formerly used by the Essex Police Authority.
The Mail claimed that more than £10,000 had been spent on wall coverings and £2,482 on the kitchen at the Chelmsford offices.
Mr Alston said: “I have been astonished by a newspaper story today about the redecoration of my office. It claims I have ‘made an admission’ of spending money to refurbish my office.
After I was elected on 15 November last year, like all other Police and Crime Commissioners I formally started work on 22 November.
The former Essex Police Authority had made arrangements for me (or whoever was successful in the election) to work from its office building in Chelmsford. This had previously had a large conference room, a number of offices where
the Authority staff worked and, I understand, a room used by the authority members as a lounge with a coffee machine and seating.
“The previous Authority, or its staff, decided as that room would be redundant it would be converted into an office for me. As that work was done, I gather it was decided to repaint most of the first floor of the
building, including the office that would become mine. The carpets were cleaned too as the building had been well used.
I took no part whatsoever in any of those decisions although the work was not completed until shortly after I arrived.
My office is modestly furnished with standard issue furniture. I am using an existing office chair. The walls, like all the others in the building, are painted with emulsion paint. It is functional and entirely
There is no coffee machine in my office or anywhere else in the office; I bring in my own instant coffee.
We do have a small ‘kitchen’ where tea and coffee can be made by staff and for visitors; and there is a microwave where the staff can heat their lunches etc.