£50k deputy 'absolutely necessary' says PCC

Bill Longmore.

Bill Longmore.

First published in Local Kidderminster Shuttle: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

WEST Mercia’s police and crime commissioner has defended his proposal to appoint a £50,000-a-year deputy as “absolutely necessary” after coming under fire from politicians.

Bill Longmore wants to appoint his campaign assistant Barrie Sheldon to the unelected deputy police and crime commissioner role.

Conservative Wyre Forest district councillor John Campion, who represents the district on the police and crime panel, told Mr Longmore at a meeting of the scrutiny body yesterday there would be “accusations of cronyism”.

Mr Longmore, on £75,000-a-year, said there was “no way” he could do justice to the more than one million people in “a huge area” on his own.

“I have no doubt a deputy is needed,” he said. “The Government has set significant objectives that PCCs need to achieve in a very short space of time. These include producing the policing plan and working with the chief constable to set the precept.

“I would reassure residents of West Mercia that I would not make this appointment if I did not feel it was absolutely necessary to ensure I do the best job possible during my time in office.”

Following the meeting, Mr Campion told The Shuttle: “All through the election process he never mentioned a deputy.

“His first major decision us to choose to appoint one of his friends as a £50,000-a-year deputy and he needs to justify that.”

Mr Campion added he felt Mr Longmore’s answers to questions on “a range of subjects” at yesterday’s meetings were “very poor”.

Mid-Worcestershire Conservative MP Peter Luff said: “I am sorry but he has squandered his credibility by appointing a deputy who is a friend.

“I do not believe having a deputy is necessary to the job. If he wants to make a case he is free to do so but he needs to look for the best candidate.”

Mr Luff, who employs his wife as his secretary, said: “She is not my deputy, I need a secretary. Mr Longmore has created a job that is not needed and given it to a friend.”

Wyre Forest MP Mark Garnier said: “If he can justify this is going to benefit and help West Mercia residents it is fair enough but if he finds it difficult to justify, he needs to think again.”

Mr Longmore, who makes the final decision, said he would consider recommendations from the police crime panel.

Comments (21)

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5:14pm Thu 6 Dec 12

Frank Owen says...

Well...how nice and above board is that?

Hasn't even got the sense to advertise the role....just gives it straight to his "campaign manager".

Boy, i'll sleep easier tonight knowing that our Police are being managed by such a fine upstanding honest man with such integrity and honour.
Well...how nice and above board is that? Hasn't even got the sense to advertise the role....just gives it straight to his "campaign manager". Boy, i'll sleep easier tonight knowing that our Police are being managed by such a fine upstanding honest man with such integrity and honour. Frank Owen
  • Score: 0

5:47pm Thu 6 Dec 12

Stephen Brown says...

This is a slightly different take on the report in Today's Worcester News which was about county councillors lambasting the new PCC but the quotes are similar.

Yes, it is an outrageous appointment but why would anyone think this would not happen? He feels a need to reward his buddy's hard work for him during the campaign, I bet a lot of 'politicians' already do this. An apt demonstration that the whole concept and process from day 1 is, and was, a bad idea, and deeply political, especially now that we have total autocrat in charge of the Police it seems.

And the Tory councillors (there was more than one) pointing the finger citing cronysim is simply laughable and hypocritical. It was the Tory group on WCC that got 'permision' (I use that term advisedly) off their tame county solicitor (employee) to allow them to store their own political and electioneering leaflets in the underground car park at County Hall during the PCC election despite outcries from other parties.

Shame that these tory councillors don't realise their own failings in their autocratic approach to their decision making and running of our councils. So I think it's a bit like the pot calling the kettle black. But then their man wasn't elected....and if he was, would it really be any different?...Probabl
y not. It would be the same, whoever from whatever party, for any of the PCC candidates, if they were elected.

Personally, I look forward to a repeal of this Act after the next election and the proper use of public money for which it was intended in this context.....putting police on the streets, not lining the pockets of those after a nice little earner and who are way out of their comfort zone in dealing with these issues.
This is a slightly different take on the report in Today's Worcester News which was about county councillors lambasting the new PCC but the quotes are similar. Yes, it is an outrageous appointment but why would anyone think this would not happen? He feels a need to reward his buddy's hard work for him during the campaign, I bet a lot of 'politicians' already do this. An apt demonstration that the whole concept and process from day 1 is, and was, a bad idea, and deeply political, especially now that we have total autocrat in charge of the Police it seems. And the Tory councillors (there was more than one) pointing the finger citing cronysim is simply laughable and hypocritical. It was the Tory group on WCC that got 'permision' (I use that term advisedly) off their tame county solicitor (employee) to allow them to store their own political and electioneering leaflets in the underground car park at County Hall during the PCC election despite outcries from other parties. Shame that these tory councillors don't realise their own failings in their autocratic approach to their decision making and running of our councils. So I think it's a bit like the pot calling the kettle black. But then their man wasn't elected....and if he was, would it really be any different?...Probabl y not. It would be the same, whoever from whatever party, for any of the PCC candidates, if they were elected. Personally, I look forward to a repeal of this Act after the next election and the proper use of public money for which it was intended in this context.....putting police on the streets, not lining the pockets of those after a nice little earner and who are way out of their comfort zone in dealing with these issues. Stephen Brown
  • Score: 0

8:12pm Thu 6 Dec 12

walkerno5 says...

Mmm- mm, that's some mighty fine cronyism right there.

Having said that, I wonder if Campions' and Luffs opinios are the same of Adam Simmonds the Tory PCC down in Northamptonshire who has similarly appointed his election agent, as well as creating a further 16 posts to do his job.

Probably not given their shared party affiliation.

http://www.guardian.
co.uk/uk/2012/dec/06
/police-commissioner
s-accused-of-power-g
rab
Mmm- mm, that's some mighty fine cronyism right there. Having said that, I wonder if Campions' and Luffs opinios are the same of Adam Simmonds the Tory PCC down in Northamptonshire who has similarly appointed his election agent, as well as creating a further 16 posts to do his job. Probably not given their shared party affiliation. http://www.guardian. co.uk/uk/2012/dec/06 /police-commissioner s-accused-of-power-g rab walkerno5
  • Score: 0

8:14pm Thu 6 Dec 12

emjaypee says...

Hang on a minute.. has everyone forgot that for years if not decades, the police authority was made up of UNELECTED cllrs from all the main political parties, including other members. I don't remember having any say on these appointments in any way,shape or form.
No doubt those leaders had deputies or similar. Who appointed the old police authority members?
That said I would prefer to see the job being advertised rather than appointed.
Hang on a minute.. has everyone forgot that for years if not decades, the police authority was made up of UNELECTED cllrs from all the main political parties, including other members. I don't remember having any say on these appointments in any way,shape or form. No doubt those leaders had deputies or similar. Who appointed the old police authority members? That said I would prefer to see the job being advertised rather than appointed. emjaypee
  • Score: 0

5:27am Fri 7 Dec 12

DOEPUBLIC says...

Is this nothing more than a story from a Tory press release ? Does the panel not have powers to stipulate the framework ? Or have certain members chosen to waive these powers to create political capital? IMO any appointment should be open to all comers. If it isn't the panel have fallen at the first hurdle of scrutiny.
Is this nothing more than a story from a Tory press release ? Does the panel not have powers to stipulate the framework ? Or have certain members chosen to waive these powers to create political capital? IMO any appointment should be open to all comers. If it isn't the panel have fallen at the first hurdle of scrutiny. DOEPUBLIC
  • Score: 0

8:25am Fri 7 Dec 12

FranOb says...

This is totally different from the former Police Authorities. They were made up mainly from Councillors from across the Force area, Politically "balanced", plus Magistrates representatives, the Councillors all had democratic credentials, (turnouts well above 12.5%) and NONE were getting £50K per year.
The panel has NO powers to stipulate ANYTHING!
This appointment, without Application or Interview is appalling cronyism! In any other sphere of Public Life it would be corruption.
The initial fault lies with the Tory Government who set up this flawed system BUT a PCC making such an appointment is, as far as I am concerned, unfit to hold the post to which he has been elected.
I am ashamed to say that I voted for him!
This is totally different from the former Police Authorities. They were made up mainly from Councillors from across the Force area, Politically "balanced", plus Magistrates representatives, the Councillors all had democratic credentials, (turnouts well above 12.5%) and NONE were getting £50K per year. The panel has NO powers to stipulate ANYTHING! This appointment, without Application or Interview is appalling cronyism! In any other sphere of Public Life it would be corruption. The initial fault lies with the Tory Government who set up this flawed system BUT a PCC making such an appointment is, as far as I am concerned, unfit to hold the post to which he has been elected. I am ashamed to say that I voted for him! FranOb
  • Score: 0

9:38am Fri 7 Dec 12

Bewdlnd says...

Setting aside my cynicism, I do wonder if this represents a refreshing political innocence and is being proposed by the PCC with the best of (and honest) intentions.
Setting aside my cynicism, I do wonder if this represents a refreshing political innocence and is being proposed by the PCC with the best of (and honest) intentions. Bewdlnd
  • Score: 0

12:34pm Fri 7 Dec 12

Shibdrift says...

Another 'surprise'..........
...

Jobs for the boys!

Why are we surprised, I wonder? ;o)

Didn't see that one in the job centre.
Another 'surprise'.......... ... Jobs for the boys! Why are we surprised, I wonder? ;o) Didn't see that one in the job centre. Shibdrift
  • Score: 0

3:14pm Fri 7 Dec 12

FlipC - The Mad Ranter says...

Just to note that the Labour candidate stated up front that he'd appoint a deputy, but that that it would be an open selection process.

Of course appointing his campaign manager as Deputy is completely wrong... should have made him a SpAd instead.
Just to note that the Labour candidate stated up front that he'd appoint a deputy, but that that it would be an open selection process. Of course appointing his campaign manager as Deputy is completely wrong... should have made him a SpAd instead. FlipC - The Mad Ranter
  • Score: 0

8:27pm Fri 7 Dec 12

comberton hill questions says...

Well another job for the boys you scratch my back and mill scratch yours whilst there is no surprise that this happens the fault lies with the way that Cameron and his cronies - not many ex oxford friends in his cabinet !!! It is how they set this up there should have been minimum requirements re job as a deputy and if as in this case it was already decided this should have been made clear on the voting form.

Independent yes but just like all the other politicians yes as well yes. We cannot be to surprised you eve get local councillors willing to support the ruling party for a plumb paid job !!!!
Well another job for the boys you scratch my back and mill scratch yours whilst there is no surprise that this happens the fault lies with the way that Cameron and his cronies - not many ex oxford friends in his cabinet !!! It is how they set this up there should have been minimum requirements re job as a deputy and if as in this case it was already decided this should have been made clear on the voting form. Independent yes but just like all the other politicians yes as well yes. We cannot be to surprised you eve get local councillors willing to support the ruling party for a plumb paid job !!!! comberton hill questions
  • Score: 0

11:19pm Fri 7 Dec 12

Gobby Robby says...

Futher evidence that the recent craze for anything with 'Independent' in front of it is easily see throughable. As FlipC says the Labour Party candidate was honest over his plans to have a deputy but his honesty clearly went against him. Can the people really be trusted when they're so easily duped?
Futher evidence that the recent craze for anything with 'Independent' in front of it is easily see throughable. As FlipC says the Labour Party candidate was honest over his plans to have a deputy but his honesty clearly went against him. Can the people really be trusted when they're so easily duped? Gobby Robby
  • Score: 0

2:38am Sat 8 Dec 12

DOEPUBLIC says...

So the purpose of the panel is?
So the purpose of the panel is? DOEPUBLIC
  • Score: 0

2:38am Sat 8 Dec 12

DOEPUBLIC says...

So the purpose of the panel is?
So the purpose of the panel is? DOEPUBLIC
  • Score: 0

5:40pm Sun 9 Dec 12

Graphical says...

I said at the time that in our democratic country there should should have been an option on the ballot paper to vote for no commissioner.
I said at the time that in our democratic country there should should have been an option on the ballot paper to vote for no commissioner. Graphical
  • Score: 0

11:28am Mon 10 Dec 12

HowardM says...

This whole process was a shambles from start to finish! Without singing the praises of Simon Murphy after the event, it is only fair to point out that as already mentioned, that he made it clear that he would appoint a deputy if elected as did some other cross party candidates elsewhere.
The "winner" - if you can have a winner with initially less than half of a 15% turn out - issued no manifesto or statement of intent, no literature, was largely invisible during the campaign and won mainly because most people, understandibly, didnt want a main stream party activist running the police. They voted for the word 'independent' on the ballot paper knowing nothing about the candidate! Independent can cover a multitude of sins from "far left" to "far right" - does anyone know where in the spectrum our PCC sits? Will he support the police or will he sympathise with the Government's intentions and aid the cuts in service? Its the risk all those who blindly voted for him took. At least we knew what the Tory and Labour canditates stood for.
This whole process was a shambles from start to finish! Without singing the praises of Simon Murphy after the event, it is only fair to point out that as already mentioned, that he made it clear that he would appoint a deputy if elected as did some other cross party candidates elsewhere. The "winner" - if you can have a winner with initially less than half of a 15% turn out - issued no manifesto or statement of intent, no literature, was largely invisible during the campaign and won mainly because most people, understandibly, didnt want a main stream party activist running the police. They voted for the word 'independent' on the ballot paper knowing nothing about the candidate! Independent can cover a multitude of sins from "far left" to "far right" - does anyone know where in the spectrum our PCC sits? Will he support the police or will he sympathise with the Government's intentions and aid the cuts in service? Its the risk all those who blindly voted for him took. At least we knew what the Tory and Labour canditates stood for. HowardM
  • Score: 0

11:48am Mon 10 Dec 12

FlipC - The Mad Ranter says...

@Howard - Got to take you to task over "no manifesto". A link from the official PCC site on Bill's profile led to a 9-page manifesto which is still available to those who know how to search.
@Howard - Got to take you to task over "no manifesto". A link from the official PCC site on Bill's profile led to a 9-page manifesto which is still available to those who know how to search. FlipC - The Mad Ranter
  • Score: 0

2:01pm Mon 10 Dec 12

HowardM says...

Fair enough FlipC - but why should we have to "search" to find what he is offering? Not everyone is as computer litterate as those who come on here but they still need to be informed without undertaking an initiative test.
Fair enough FlipC - but why should we have to "search" to find what he is offering? Not everyone is as computer litterate as those who come on here but they still need to be informed without undertaking an initiative test. HowardM
  • Score: 0

2:11pm Mon 10 Dec 12

FlipC - The Mad Ranter says...

But that was one of the major complaints regarding the whole campaign, rather than addressed at single candidates - so much was only available online.
But that was one of the major complaints regarding the whole campaign, rather than addressed at single candidates - so much was only available online. FlipC - The Mad Ranter
  • Score: 0

3:57pm Mon 10 Dec 12

DOEPUBLIC says...

For the record a Shuttle reader posted a link to the candidates web site. In addition, local TV covered the candidates as well as the Shuttle and radio. I for one made an informed vote. Choosing to use only one of my choices. It is disappointing, however, to witness this development, denying appropriate access to a post of employment. Is it legal one wonders? Who has the authority to investigate an challenge? The Home secretary? Although clearly Labour and Conservative candidates would have expended money on a deputy. Looks like a omission of duty to me. There is irony in Mr Campion and Garnier expecting accountability though.
For the record a Shuttle reader posted a link to the candidates web site. In addition, local TV covered the candidates as well as the Shuttle and radio. I for one made an informed vote. Choosing to use only one of my choices. It is disappointing, however, to witness this development, denying appropriate access to a post of employment. Is it legal one wonders? Who has the authority to investigate an challenge? The Home secretary? Although clearly Labour and Conservative candidates would have expended money on a deputy. Looks like a omission of duty to me. There is irony in Mr Campion and Garnier expecting accountability though. DOEPUBLIC
  • Score: 0

12:55pm Wed 12 Dec 12

Shibdrift says...

Quote - Wyre Forest MP Mark Garnier said: “If he can justify this is going to benefit and help West Mercia residents it is fair enough but if he finds it difficult to justify, he needs to think again.”

"Fair enough"!!! What, to not bother advertising such a job, and opt for the 'it's not what you know, it's who you know', approach?

And we vote for this attitude!

Vive la revolution.
Quote - Wyre Forest MP Mark Garnier said: “If he can justify this is going to benefit and help West Mercia residents it is fair enough but if he finds it difficult to justify, he needs to think again.” "Fair enough"!!! What, to not bother advertising such a job, and opt for the 'it's not what you know, it's who you know', approach? And we vote for this attitude! Vive la revolution. Shibdrift
  • Score: 0

2:51pm Thu 13 Dec 12

racerroy says...

I hope those people who voted for Bill Longmore have egg on their face's now!!
As I understood the appointment of a PCC was a move to save money not increase expenditure.
I would be very pleased to be appointed to a £50 grand job by my mate and I would have a very merry Xmas at the expense of the TAX payer's hahaha....
This appointment stinks of favouritism, If he feels he is incapable of performing the job as expected then why did he stand in the first place?
Will we have 2 fat controllers only time will tell...
I hope those people who voted for Bill Longmore have egg on their face's now!! As I understood the appointment of a PCC was a move to save money not increase expenditure. I would be very pleased to be appointed to a £50 grand job by my mate and I would have a very merry Xmas at the expense of the TAX payer's hahaha.... This appointment stinks of favouritism, If he feels he is incapable of performing the job as expected then why did he stand in the first place? Will we have 2 fat controllers only time will tell... racerroy
  • Score: 0

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