Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting KS NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Bill Longmore writes letter to council
2:00pm Monday 14th January 2013 in Local
WEST Mercia’s Police and Crime Commissioner has written a letter to Worcestershire County Council after a motion of “no confidence” in him was put forward.
Bill Longmore has written to the authority’s chief executive Trish Haines to “ensure the facts are properly stated” before the motion is put before full council on Thursday.
The council’s Labour group wants Bill Longmore and his deputy Barrie Sheldon to consider their positions.
It was Mr Sheldon’s £50,000-a-year appointment which sparked the move and has caused Mr Longmore to come under fire from politicians and members of the public across the force area. Criticisms included accusations of “cronyism”.
In his letter, Mr Longmore said it was “misleading” and “wrong” to say he had appointed a friend, adding the process he followed was “lawful” and “proper”.
The letter added: “I totally refute the allegation which some have made that my choice of Mr Sheldon was because of long held friendship and not based on merit.
“As a university lecturer in policing studies, Mr Sheldon has a wealth of knowledge and skills of great use in this role. It was because of those skills I asked him to assist in my election campaign.
“I had no association with Mr Sheldon before that time save that some 28 years ago he was a junior officer in the same police force, I hardly knew him then and had no contact with him whatsoever since that time until I sought his assistance with my election.”
The letter added Mr Sheldon’s salary reflected “the very taxing and full time role it entails but as far as can be established is, pro-rata, one of the lowest paid deputies or assistants yet appointed”.
The letter went on: “I am proud to have been elected for West Mercia. After two months of detailed scrutiny I have been reassured that it is an outstanding force led by outstanding officers.
“The former police authority did an excellent job and I intend to build on that fabulous inheritance. The financial outlook is challenging but I know how much strong frontline policing means to the public and my plans, worked up in consultation with the chief constable, aim to deliver just that.
“I intend to work constructively with the Police and Crime Panel and with all the local authorities in West Mercia and I am anxious to move the agenda on to what really matters, providing the best policing for the people of West Mercia.”