It is time to draw a line under the expenses scandal that has dogged Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw for over a year.
The CPS statement clearly outlines why the matter should not be pursued through criminal proceedings.
I still have absolutely no idea why it has taken such a long time to investigate and conclude such a simple but nevertheless high profile matter.
Unfortunately, the delay in resolving the allegations has without doubt caused reputational damage to both Mr Grunshaw and the office of PCC. I am pleased to see his expenses claims and that of his other senior colleagues are now published on the PCC website. This act of transparency will provide some comfort for those, who have good reason to question Mr Grunshaw’s ability to accurately submit his own expenses.
Hopefully, my last comments on this matter are firstly to disagree with those who are criticising Sam Chapman for raising these issues in the first place. The fact he was a rival candidate for the PCC post and a political opponent is irrelevant.
The blame for this matter lies firmly at the feet of Mr Grunshaw for failing to submit accurate expense claims. In many other occupations he would have been made the subject of misconduct proceedings and faced the threat of dismissal. Secondly and finally, I am concerned that Mr Grunshaw has allegedly dismissed this matter by saying ‘very few people have raised the issue of expenses with me’. If he considers that few people in Lancashire have been seriously concerned about this matter, then he is badly misinterpreting public opinion.
That does not bode well for his future ability to interpret and represent the policing needs of the diverse communities of Lancashire.Mr Grunshaw now has the opportunity for a fresh start and needs to show greater and more vocal leadership to deal with the challenges which face policing in the next few years. In seeking public opinion on any matter he needs to be more innovative and dynamic as his road shows are old hat and usually very poorly attended.
I still question whether Mr Grunshaw has the necessary skills, abilities and wide ranging experience needed to perform this very difficult and challenging role. I wish him well and hope he is successful in changing my views.