The Norfolk police boss who received a £147,000 payout for retiring amid restructure

Chris Harding MBE

Chris Harding MBE

An outgoing police boss received an £147,000 payout for retiring when a new structure was introduced in 2013, our investigation can reveal.

Former Norfolk Chief Constable Phil Gormley. Photo: Andy Darnell

Former Norfolk Chief Constable Phil Gormley. Photo: Andy Darnell - Credit: Archant © 2011

The exit package was paid to Norfolk police authority chief executive Chris Harding in 2013/14, on top of £75,000 wage for the year up to November, when he announced his retirement after the authority was scrapped in place of a police crime commissioner (PCC).

The current PCC's office didn't wish to comment on the package, but it is understood most of the fee was towards paying off his pension early.

Overall, the number of £100,000 plus earners at Norfolk Constabulary has fallen from seven in 2011/12 to five in 2014/15, a drop which can be explained by cost-cutting measures which saw a reduction in the number of senior officers employed. Exit package costs have risen during this period. The basic salary in 2011/12 under chief constable Phil Gormley was £168,000, at the time one of the highest for police chiefs in the country. Current chief Simon Bailey received £144,120 in 2014/15.

Mr Gormley also received £58,038 in 'benefits in kind' in 2012/13, which Stephen Bett, Norfolk's police and crime commissioner, said at the time included tax paid back to him on the resettlement package he received when he moved from West Midlands Constabulary where he was a deputy chief constable.

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Mr Bett added: 'It's no good not having the best people to do the job for you, and they will save you money in the long term.' Mr Bett receives a basic salary of £70,000, which has remained unchanged since the role was introduced.

Meanwhile, Suffolk Constabulary's chief constable salary increased from £134,000 in 2009/10 to £143,000 by 2014/15, according to annual reports. Douglas Paxton, who led the Suffolk force before his retirement in December 2015, following a period of extended sick leave, was paid a further £43,912 for 'removal and relocation expenses' in 2013/14.

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He received an additional £28,102 the following year as the reimbursement of the tax liability on this payment.

A spokesman for the Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner's officer said: 'This was paid in accordance with the contract of employment. These figures are all in the public domain.'

Suffolk police said it has recently redesigned its services to 'ensure that policing in the county is able to respond to current demand and meet budget reductions'.

Cambridgeshire police paid its then chief constable Simon Parr £151,287 in 2014/15, around £6,000 less than he received in 2011/12.

Click here to see more figures for each police force

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