New chief gets �70,000 payout

Ben KendallPolice bosses will not hesitate in handing a substantial relocation package to Norfolk's new chief constable - despite controversy over former chief Ian McPherson's �70,000 pay out.Ben Kendall

Police bosses will not hesitate in handing a substantial relocation package to Norfolk's new chief constable - despite controversy over former chief Ian McPherson's �70,000 pay out.

Phil Gormley, currently deputy chief constable at West Midlands police, yesterday underwent a two-hour medical at Norfolk police headquarters after his appointment to the �134,000-a-year top job was confirmed.

He replaced Mr McPherson who has taken up the post of assistant commissioner (territorial policing) at the Metropolitan police.

Norfolk Police Authority had been forced to answer questions over Mr McPherson's re-location package paid in 2007, after it was revealed taxpayers had stumped up for costs including �31,800 in stamp duty on his �795,000 house. Mr McPherson, who is to continue living in Norfolk, has not been asked to repay this sum.

Authority chairman Stephen Bett said Mr Gormley's expenses would be assessed once his move to Norfolk was completed. But he confirmed that the new chief would be entitled to a similar five-figure sum.

He added: 'At the moment he will be renting a place in Norfolk until he can make arrangements to complete a long-term move to the county.

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'We don't know yet what his claim will be but, if it is similar to Ian McPherson's, we will have no hesitation in paying it.

'We believe we have got the right man to take Norfolk police forward and we are prepared to pay a competitive rate to get him.'

Addressing concerns that Mr Gormley, a former Met commander, could follow his predecessors Mr McPherson and Andy Hayman to London after only a brief term in charge at Norfolk, Mr Bett said the authority had drawn up a 'strong' contract.

He added: 'Ultimately if the Met decide they want our chief constable and if he wants to go, there will be little we can do to stop him.

'But he has signed a three year contract with a strong option to extend that to five. We believe he is committed to Norfolk and we will do our best to hold on to him.'

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