Kenny MacAskill moves to tackle police row
Published: 19th May 2010 15:55:27
Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has reiterated to parliament that specific funding is being provided to increase police officer numbers.
His comments came after claims that civil servants have been attempting to "call the shots" on police funding.
Grampian Police Chief Constable Colin McKerracher said he was told cash would be withheld if forces missed targets to maintain increased levels of officers.
Mr MacAskill added police chiefs were worried about "UK government" cuts.
The row began after Mr McKerracher told the Herald newspaper that, during a meeting, civil servants were told that police forces would have to cut officer numbers.
On the civil servants' response, Mr McKerracher stated: "They said, 'we just won't give you the funding for the last tranche'.
On Wednesday, Mr MacAskill told the Scottish Parliament that the SNP was delivering on its commitment for 1,000 additional officers, having already met the costs of taking on 801 police.
He said funding to recruit the final 201 officers would be provided "when the additional officers are in place".
"This government is providing the costs of recruitment, training and salaries of the 1,000 extra officers. Extra funding specifically to recruit 1,000 extra officers," said the justice secretary.
"It should not be used for any other purpose."
Mr MacAskill said he laid out the government position with chief constables at the meeting, on 18 January.
The minister accused the last UK government of cutting £500m from Scotland's budget, while a new £6bn reduction programme was on the way, adding: "At that meeting, chief constables also shared their concerns over future budgets.
"They have heard dire warnings coming from UK parties of cuts to come and, like me, they are worried."
Mr McKerracher previously said of the alleged civil service comments: "It was a threat and a refusal to acknowledge the situation we're in.
"It is symptomatic of their power creep. It is not meant to be civil servants calling the shots."
Mr McKerracher also told the newspaper: "The civil servants are now more and more running policing.
"Five or six years ago they used to be hard task-masters but they would still respect and listen to chief constables. Now they have grasped the policing agenda as their cause celebre."
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2010. Kenny MacAskill moves to tackle police row [Online] (Updated 19th May 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/60842/Kenny-MacAskill-moves-to-tackle-police-row [Accessed 24th Apr 2014]
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With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com