South Yorkshire Police Band

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by nicholasbarrett, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. I heard on the radio yesterday that South Yorkshire Police had released details of their financial support to their Police Band (via a freedom of info request). I think it was £180K over something like 8 years.

    There has been some critisism from some groups that this money could have been spent on crime reduction, but the force has said that the band is a great ambasador for the force.

    I agree that the band is very important and good value for money. I was just wondering what other opinions were about on here? I live in Sheffield and must say it's nice to know that a proportion of my Council Tax goes towards music.
  2. mdfreeman

    mdfreeman Member

    As a member of south yorkshire police band I'd just like to add my contribution to this with the
    statement from the Chief Constable Of South Yorkshire Police:-

    South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable, Meredydd Hughes, said: "South Yorkshire Police spends around £20,000 per annum as part of its marketing and public relations initiatives in supporting the force band. This represents less than half of the cost of a police officer per year. "The band members are excellent ambassadors for the force and give freely of their own time and carry out many engagements at their own expense. "They are often used for many civic engagements and charity fundraising concerts."

    Including giving our own time, we sometimes take off days from our own jobs, as stated with no renumeration from the force.
  3. Albert Fairbrother

    Albert Fairbrother New Member

    ****** me...if I'd known they were getting that sort of money I would have charged them more when I played for them a few years ago !!!!!!


    The band was first formed in 1979 and all the members were serving officers and cadets,we were all paid our normal salary for playing in the band,so you can imagine how much it cost to set up and run in 1979 !Now it s members are mostly civilians with other it must cost a lot less to run,as for wasting council taxpayers money,Barnsley Council advertised a job as SMOKING CESSATION OFFICER for Barnsley(the lung disease capital of the UK) the post attracted a salary of 30 grand a year..there are several other silly council jobs in Barnsley costing us millions so I don t mind a band having the odd 20K.Finally it goes to show that its not always money that wins contests..its players !
  5. Lyndon Price

    Lyndon Price Member

    Having had the pleasure of working with band whilst in college I must agree that every penny is well spent. A great set of people that do an excellent job in the community and much further afield. First rate ambassadores for the police service, not only in S Yorks, but wherever they perform
  6. alanl58

    alanl58 Member

    Crickey that is £22.5k a year, what are they spending it on?

  7. SHD999

    SHD999 Member

    Hello, I am Police Sergeant Simon Davies, the manager of the South Yorkshire Police Band.

    Thanks for the comments so far, I must admit I was expecting worse and I am sure there is more to come.

    I got notification of the story yesterday (23/9/08) and posted all the information we have (News agency original article and the bosses response) on our website


    Approximately 2 months ago I and every other UK police force received a Freedom of Information Request about what money had been spent on bands. The legislation requires me to provide that information within 14 days. (I am hoping to publish my response on our website once work approves). Anyone can ask for the information and in this case it was a news agency.

    I was intrigued as to who might ask about this little heard area of policing. The week prior to the request, the British Federation of Brass Bands and my local MP were promoting brass bands in parliament. Perhaps bands were mainstream news ( we wish).

    The article
    I have nothing to hide and have told band members the same. If you have questions to ask please do so, either on here, in person or give me a ring 07771 505775. I dont bite!:biggrin:.

    Sadly the article chooses to omit some details of my FOI response and uses partial quotes from my boss. That's they way of the world, and I accept any publicity is good publicity, so thank you.

    I am proud of what we do, we get into our local communities, sometimes where English isn't peoples first language. We break down barriers with the Police by the use of music. The vast majority events are provided free of charge to organisations and charities. If you've been to one of our concerts, your likely to get crime reduction advice thrust in your hand and a bit of a lecture on not leaving valuables in cars.

    The band represents South Yorkshire Police and we expect high standards. Our library consists of only original music as we couldn't dare risk the embarrassment of copyright infringement.
    Uniforms x 3 - not by choice but thats what is required of us and its not cheap
    We don't pay players to attend
    We cant collect outside local supermarkets at Christmas or visit pubs for carols
    The nearest we get to a collection is Wetherby bandstand and we give that back to help the organisers pay for another band.
    We dont do this on overtime, of the few Police Officers invloved we all juggle shifts or pinch the occasional hour to drive equipment vans. I have a day job in the Police, so like every other band secretary/band manager, I do most of this in my own time.

    Police Officers and civilian band members alike, we do this because its our hobby.

    Thanks for reading and dont forget if you want to find out mor about us, we have two vacancies, principal cornet (Nick) and a trombone


    Simon Davies
    South Yorkshire Police Brass Band
    Snig Hill
    S3 8LY

    0114 2196695
    07771 505775
  8. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    What a shame that we get bands into the news but the slant is very anti. £20k? realistically thats's not a lot, even the humblist of village bands is going to spend £10k a year and as Simon says the Police Band have three different uniforms - they cant be cheap to buy.

    No I wouldn't begrudge my Council Rates going on this small amount of money there are far worse things being funded for considerably more money than than - £20k it's a bargain and long may it be supported.
  9. ploughboy

    ploughboy Active Member

    We talked about in the bandroom last night, just general chit-chat before rehearsal begun, everyone could see how easily that moeny could be spent in giving the band the right image the represent the South Yorks police force all around the country. I've no problem with my taxes going to a band better than some of the jobs Stuart pointed out!!
  10. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    Why cant people shut their mouths when they see what good these police officers do, in their won time, taking days off work without being paid, am I right, and doing a lot for charitable organisations as well, plus good pr for the police force itself.
  11. SHD999

    SHD999 Member

    thanks for the comments. I can confirm it's all in our own time, in todays financial climate we couldnt run it any other way.

  12. zak

    zak Member

    For goodness sake, you make that statement as though the amount was £200,000!!!!

    Believe me when I say that although £22,500 may seem a fortune to a lot of bands it soon disappears given 3 uniforms/running costs etc etc.

    Credit to the band for releasing their financial details for public consumption.

    I know for definate that there a lot of bands with far more money in the coffers that choose to stay anonymous and fire bullets at others! ;)

  13. towse1972

    towse1972 Active Member

    £22000 is hardly anything when you think of the cost of 3 sets of uniform alone for each player. The band may as well have it because lets face it, our prisons are full to bursting! Even if the police catch them the courts put them back on the street anyway!

    Music changes more lives than doing a lump at HMP anyway!:clap:
  14. Toxophile

    Toxophile Member

    I was sad to see the comments in the press regarding this. The police bands were honest in their response to the FOI request and seem to be being criticised for this. What does it cost for an Army or Air Force Band? After all the money for those is public money isn't it? I'm afraid today there is too much criticism of the public sector and I think credit is due wherever it is deserved. The SYP band bridges the community in South Yorkshire and has serving police officers playing alongside civilians for the benefit of the community.

    Congratulations are due to Simon for the activities of his band and all it's members. You have my support.
  15. woolly

    woolly Member

    I am the MD of the Cheshire Police band.

    Its really heartening to see so many positive responses from other banding folk... Like you we willingly submitted a reply to the request for information.

    Like most folk on this site I care passionately about Banding.

    Like South Yorks our band is 100% voluntary, there are no retainers, and noone gets paid. Even the former practice of paying travelling expenses ceased last year. As the newly arrived MD I wanted the band to operate as closely as possible to the bands I had played with outside of the Police. Like most bands we play purely because we love music and banding. We are also very proud to represent our Force and the British Police in what we do.

    Yes we are fortunate in that we are "sponsored" , the difference being that it's our Forces who provide the backing and support. As Simon intimated, Police bands are limited in where and when we can raise funds, we can't really accept sponsorship from elsewhere and we will never be able to gain Lottery funding. That said I appreciate only too well (having experienced life in other bands) that we are very lucky. For example we will not have to spend every Saturday in December raising funds and for that alone we are grateful for the position we are in. That said we will be very busy in December but because of our funding we are fortunate to be able to play without charge.

    Thank you to all of those who offered Simon and the South Yorkshire band your support. As the MD of a neighbouring Police band I for one appreciated the comments.

    Regards Dave
    MD Cheshire Constabulary Band