A time for reflection
It seems incredible to me that we are now over halfway through the year. It has certainly been a hectic six months and I have little doubt that the second half of the year will be just as busy. But, since we are at the midpoint of 2015, it seems a good time to reflect on what has happened so far but also to look forward.
Of course, the main theme of the year has been the ongoing budget restrictions. The Force has had to find ways to reduce spending but maintain services; never an easy balance to achieve. We have to wait until the Comprehensive Spending Review announcement in the autumn before we find out the Government's plans but I am sure we will be subject to more cuts.
The Government does not seem to be too keen to tell us which parts of our service it wants us to stop delivering and yet it is difficult to see how we can continue to deliver quality policing for the communities we serve with less and less resources. Perhaps we can just live in hope that the cuts are less harsh than they have been and that the autumn marks a turning point.
For Leicestershire Police Federation (LPF) the last couple of weeks have been a pivotal time. We have said a fond farewell to our secretary, Malc Mills, who retired from the Force at the end of June. I would like to say a heartfelt thanks to Malc for his dedicated service to LPF. He has worked tirelessly to try to ensure that we have moved with the times and changed the way we do business. He played a crucial role in negotiating with the Force in the interests of our members. As a Federation stalwart, he knew Police Regulations inside out and had a deep knowledge of the Police Federation and policing.
But, of course, as one era ends, another begins and we have now welcomed Matt Robinson as our new secretary. Matt will obviously have his own approach to the role and I know that one of his priorities will be to get out to see members more and to give the Police Federation a visible presence.
Matt and I have started this process. We are attending briefings to provide input and will be looking to work around the county to enable you to have more direct contact with us.
Finally, I would just like to pay tribute to Stew Sparling, a much loved colleague and friend, who sadly died in June. Stew was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in September 2011 but was a fighter to the end. Typically, as well as battling the disease, he set up a charity to help other people with MND raising thousands of pounds for the Treble One Trust, named after his collar number. The trust's name also stands for one life, one chance to live it, one day at a time. It will be a lasting legacy for a fine officer. Rest in peace, Stew.
Tiff Lynch, LPF chairman
Matt Robinson, LPF secretary