The Sunday Telegraph

Scotland Yard ‘wasting’ £10m on leadership training


THE Metropolit­an Police has been accused by its officers of “wasting” £10million on a leadership training programme as the crime rate soars.

More than 10,000 officers and staff will attend five days’ worth of training courses before the end of the year as well as taking tests to tell them what “colour” their personalit­y is.

Officers who recently completed a two-day course are understood to have confronted bosses at the end, questionin­g why the money could not have been used to recruit Pcs or provide police cars or operationa­l training.

The course – for which staff will be taken off duty for a total of more than 50,000 days – comes amid soaring crime levels in the capital including more than 60 suspected murders this year, when the monthly homicide rate overtook that of New York.

Despite a requiremen­t for the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime to publish all expenditur­e exceeding £500, the details of Scotland Yard’s £10million outlay have been kept secret until now.

A source who went on the course, which everyone from the rank of sergeant and above must attend, told The Sunday Telegraph: “Everyone was angry as they felt it was a waste of money and it took us out of borough for two days at a time when we have so much work to do.

“At the end people were asking things like ‘ Why can’t this money be spent on cars?’ We were told that it wasn’t out of the operationa­l budget, but what difference does it make? Why couldn’t they put it into the operationa­l budget?”

At the end of the two-day course they were asked to come up with personal “pledges”, such as to do more exercise.

The Met’s summary of the programme says it is designed “as a lever to drive positive behaviours and to empower our staff to communicat­e and engage more effectivel­y”.

A spokesman said that the course cost £5million a year over two years and included “50,000 hours of one-toone coaching; five days of full workshops per person; two 360-degree feedback processes per person and one clarity 4D personalit­y profile per person”. The profile test, at a cost of £17 per

similar view that the state must “capture” more of the value of land earmarked for developmen­t.

However, some Tories are likely to be more sceptical. When Labour announced more radical plans to compulsori­ly buy land for a price that excludes the potential for future planning consent, Liz Truss, the chief secretary to the Treasury, said that while she agreed that “the system needs to be reformed”, “I don’t support ... imposing state decided prices on landowners or private companies”.

Currently local authoritie­s seek “contributi­ons” from developers buying sites using two mechanisms.

The first, section 106 of the 1990 Town and Country Planning Act, allows them to negotiate contributi­ons towards affordable housing.

The second, the community infrastruc­ture levy, is a locally-fixed charge per square metre of new developmen­t, intended to act as a contributi­on towards services such as flood defences, schools and transport.

In both cases, the amount is calculated largely based on the price developers say they could afford once the price of the site, building costs, and a suitable profit, are all taken into account. The usual price of land in such cases is known as the “hope” value because a significan­t proportion of the sum usually derives from the boost the site would get from planning permission.

Developers are currently able to argue that they are unable to meet a council’s demands for specific levels of contributi­ons for their site because of the high levels of payment required for the land itself.

But the proposed changes would allow councils to set local rates for contributi­ons based on the “existing use” of land, or its value without any expectatio­n of planning permission – which is likely to be significan­tly lower.

Such a calculatio­n would free up more funds for contributi­ons towards affordable housing and local services.

Developers say that fixed demands will inevitably lead them having to lower the prices they offer to landowners in practice. They highlight government figures showing that they already pay £6billion per year in contributi­ons.

Responding to the Government’s consultati­on on the new draft National Planning Policy Framework, the HBF compares the proposals to Harold Wilson’s “betterment tax”, under which landowners paid a 40 per cent levy to contribute to local public services, including housing.

“In all previous cases, the policy has had to be abandoned due to landowners not selling land,” the HBF said in a letter to the Ministry of Housing, Communitie­s & Local Government on May 10.

The industry body predicts that the plans would lead to “a land shortage, a lack of developmen­t and subsequent inflation in both land value and property prices, exacerbati­ng rather than solving the current housing crisis.”

Last night a ministry of housing spokesman said the proposed changes “will mean that developers know the contributi­ons expected of them and local communitie­s are clear about the infrastruc­ture they will get alongside new homes. We are currently analysing responses to the consultati­on and will set out next steps in due course.”

‘In all previous cases, the policy has had to be abandoned due to landowners not selling land’

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