SCOTLAND’s new chief constable is set to live rent free in a lavish castle as part of his relocation package.
Phil Gormley, who earns around £212,000 a year, was announced as the new Police Scotland head back in December last year after taking over from Sir Stephen House.
Gormley, the former deputy director of the National Crime Agency and ex chief constable for Norfolk Police, faced internal police force speculation over whether or not he would be buying a new house in Scotland to relocate with his family.
However, it has been confirmed that Gormley’s short term plan will be to stay in accommodation provided for him, at the picturesque Tulliallan Castle in Kincardine, Fife.
The 19th century building is set among 90 acres of land and is renowned for its gothic and Italian-style architecture.
It has been home to the Scottish Police College since the early 1950’s and has more than 400 en-suite rooms.
The complex also boasts a range of other impressive facilities such as a lecture theatre, conference rooms and self-service dining.
Sports and leisure options available for residents include a swimming pool, sauna and steam room.
In recent years calls have been made to the police service, who face massive budget cuts, to give up the castle.
However, Police Scotland said: “This is a Scottish Government building. It is not ours to sell. What we do is we pay the upkeep but we don’t own it.
“I think the Government would be more interested in it being used for multi-service training service or cross-public sector, which we are very open to.”
A police source confirmed the the new chief constable would be living at the castle for “approximately” six months and that he would not be charged rent.
Labour MSP Graeme Pearson, a former senior police officer and ex-director general of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, said: “At a time when budgets for policing are so very tight, I would have thought it proper for Mr Gormley to pay rent for his accommodation.
“The provision, in addition to what can only be described as a generous salary, sends out the wrong signals to his staff who are struggling to cope with the cuts imposed on them.”
An SPA spokesman said: “The public recruitment process for the Chief Constable was clear that, where applicable, a package of relocation assistance would be made available in line with police regulations.
“At the request of the SPA, Phil Gormley took up his post within just a month of being appointed.
“Shortly after Mr Gormley took up post in January, the chair of the SPA made a proposal to the Chief Constable that he use existing residential accommodation at Tulliallan Police College for a temporary period.
“We are please that Mr Gormley is content with this proposal.
“We believe that this makes sense for both policing and the public purse.
“Tulliallan is an existing part of the police estate and this arrangement will provide a considerable saving when compared with the cost of a short-term private-sector rental accommodation.”