Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Our challenge some personal reflections

Yesterday was a challenging time. Looking at how to make savings to balance our budget and seek to shrink the "business" by 20 %.
We are looking at all sorts of things to create  reductions that avoid impacting on the public facing aspects of policing Cumbria.
To do this means balancing the needs of a range of people and services. Tightening the fiscal screw causes pain. People will be leaving us who have done an excellent job not just for Cumbria Police but more importantly for the people of Cumbria and those who visit here.

Our task seems simple enough, to create an effective means to lower costs. Easily said, not so easily delivered. We have been inspected audited and checked to see if our plan will work. The feedback so far is, yes, it will. Nothing to be proud about, nor to take false confidence in the knowledge that those who have looked have seen a clean and effective strategy.

At the same time we are looking to build and shape new relationships, particularly within Cumbria, with other public sector bodies to collaborate and create savings. Hopefully this will work but requires people, including us, to go against their natural instincts to protect their own territory first. A big ask. And we are asking a lot at the moment.

The staff we need to make these changes are often the staff who themselves will be changed. A reflection of their professionalism and total commitment to public service.

We will, at the same time, respond to the multitude of reviews all created with good intent and of sound cause, but perhaps in need of a little more coordination.

It would be easy to blame someone or something for this change. To simply say, It's Wrong. But the police service has never done that,  it  has quietly tried to influence and listen, and despite it's faults failings and sometimes falsehoods, is an institution that is still World Gold Class 

Our challenge both personal and professional is to remain calm and carry on. Not be diverted into personal attacks, shroud waving or instant screams of annoyance. Instead we will deliver. "Simple as" as many say.

As we change our structures, conditions of employment, governance, status and service delivery we remain committed to public service ethos envied the world over.

Over the next few months we will be making a range of announcements that no doubt will test the above philosophy. Behind all the noise and smoke is a ruthless determination to deliver and help our communities. Unfortunately in that journey many do not share our history, culture and standards. Not out of  malice but sometimes out of ignorance.

Please help us in this journey .

I remain optimistic that we will create the solutions and retain the Police Service of the UK as the envy of the world. It will be a tough ride personally and professionally but I am confident that the quality of all the people I work with, will deliver as they always have.

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