Police contract with cost-cutting expert ends early

Mark Burns-Williamson
Mark Burns-Williamson
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A consultancy contract given by West Yorkshire Police to a former colleague of suspended chief constable Mark Gilmore as part of its controversial cost-cutting scheme has been ended after just six months.

It was revealed last month that Roy Toner, a former Assistant Chief Constable in Northern Ireland, had been hired by the force to be the strategic director of its “Programme of Change” after the senior officer in charge of the scheme left earlier this year.

The contract with his firm Jalaro Associates was for up to 20 days a month and worth a maximum of £150,000 over 18 months, but police commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson has now decided not to extend it beyond the initial six month term ending on October 13.

Police have not revealed how much they are paying after not extending Jalaro’s contract.

He was brought in after Assistant Chief Constable Craig Guildford, the officer in charge of radically restructuring the force to cope with austerity cuts, left to join Gwent Police in Wales. West Yorkshire Police says this created an “immediate, unplanned and urgent need” to find a replacement.

The force says the contract offered to Mr Toner was not advertised as Jalaro was commissioned using an “approved, urgent procurement exception process”.

West Yorkshire Police is currently “considering options for the future leadership of the Programme of Change”.

Temporary Deputy Chief Constable John Robins said: “JALARO Associates has achieved all we asked of them and they have met their contractual responsibilities.”

Chief constable Mark Gilmore has been suspended by the force since June as part of a probe into the award of vehicle contracts in his native Northern Ireland.

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