By Connor Steel
HAMPSHIRE POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER Donna Jones has announced that she is moving her departmental office from Winchester to Fareham later this year, a move that is expected to save huge sums of money in the long run amidst a wide ranging staff reshuffle.
The Conservative politician was elected to the role in May 2021 with a huge majority over the Labour candidate Tony Bunday at the ballot boxes; inheriting the current upmarket office located in St Georges Chambers, when she took over from former commissioner Michael Lane.
This office costs approximately £228,000 per annum, with Mrs Jones deciding to scale back on funds with a new base off junction 10 of the M27. It will be located in the Long Barn Building on Wickham Road, Fareham with costs of £65,000 alongside on-costs of £97,000 according to media reports published on both the Daily Echo and Hampshire Chronicle this weekend.
Working alongside the new office will be a reshuffle of staff throughout the PCC’s department in a bid to make a leaner team, with many management roles and operational functions set to change under a ‘new operating model’ run by Mrs Jones alongside Chief Executive Jason Kenny.
It is believed that the office change and staff reshuffling plan will save £700,000 per year, with the commissioner’s team set to move to their new facility by the end of summer 2022. No exact details on dates or staff working in the department are available at the time of writing, with the news announced by Mrs Jones herself on Saturday morning (March 26).
She said in a post on Facebook to her followers across the county: “I am pleased to announce I am moving my office from Winchester to Fareham and restructuring my team in order to save around £700k a year. Ten months ago when I was elected, I made a pledge to the public, that I would spend public money wisely, and that starts with my own office”.
“The money saved will be put back into paying for police officers and staff, crime prevention & victims support. The restructuring of my staff (to significantly reduce the size of my office) hasn’t been easy. Many of the team have served the Office of Police & Crime Commissioner for years and have an enormous amount of experience. I am hugely grateful of their dedication & service. Thank you to everyone of them”.