Annalea has plans for second term as branch secretary

Annalea Kift said she was “over the moon” to be re-elected as secretary of Gwent Police Federation.

She said she would be focusing on the smoother and more efficient running of the branch throughout her new three-year term and would be working hard to put Federation subs to best use for members.

Annalea said it was also important to get more workplace representatives trained to the highest standard to provide greater choice for members and increased resilience on a team of reps rather than just a few.

And she pledged to keep officer wellbeing as a top priority for the Police Federation.

She said: “Officer wellbeing remains at the heart of everything I do. As our wellbeing garden continues to take shape, I would like this to become a space that our members can use if visiting Federation House or just passing by.”

Annalea, who first became a workplace rep in June 2019, said one of the key challenges facing the branch was to improve engagement with members other than by electronic communications.

She also voiced concerns about the volume of disciplinary cases currently live and warned of the potential issues which will arise if these progress to hearings owing to the current situation with legally qualified chairs.

Annalea said she joined the police service in 1997 to help people in her community. 

She explained: “I then became a Fed rep to help officers maintain fairness and equality in the workplace and to ensure all members are afforded the same opportunities as their colleagues.”

Annalea said staffing levels remained a major issue for the Force with levels of illness and abstractions due to Covid only making matters worse.

“Further in the future we will have a very young, inexperienced workforce. And retention of staff, particularly student officers having to complete degrees alongside a full-time job, will also become a massive challenge within policing,” she explained.

Annalea fears police officers face a tough time and potential burn-out due to the pandemic and the difficulty in finding the time and space to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

And she warned a lack of time off due to leave embargoes, the rising cost of living, combined with low wages and continuing uncertainty over pensions, were all having a negative impact on officer wellbeing.

Annalea became Gwent Police Federation branch secretary last April after putting herself forward to secure a more prominent role within the organisation.

She said: “I wanted to form a strong working relationship with the Force to ensure we are all focusing on the best interests of our members.

“It also seemed like a natural succession with the previous secretary leaving and me having the greatest knowledge of running the branch.

“I am not naïve enough to think that it would all fall apart without me but I form an integral part of the Gwent branch, at the core of holding the branch together and it would be my belief that the branch would struggle if I was not there to perform daily functions.

“I was over the moon to be re-elected, although no one else put themselves forward. I think this either says no one else is daft enough to volunteer for secretary, or that the Branch Board respects the fact I am the best person for the job – I like to believe the latter!”