West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner is under fire after advertising for a well-paid deputy among Labour Party members only.
Mark Burns Williamson, who is paid £100,000 a year, is seeking a deputy on a salary of £52,995 to £56,571.
He said: “The government when introducing Police and Crime Commissioners set up the role of deputy to allow a commissioner to have someone to help them who shared their values, and those of the people that elected them.
“I will be appointing a deputy through a process which allowed anyone who is a Labour Party member across West Yorkshire to express an interest, and I will be interviewing and appointing an individual after a rigorous interview.”
Coun Alison Lowe (Lab, Armley) is chair of the crime panel, which is responsible for scrutinising the work of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
She said: “I would rather the money is spent recruiting two or three extra police officers.”
She added: “The people of West Yorkshire are entitled to the best. How do you know you are getting the best person for the job when you are restricting the recruitment to one political party. The fact that you can appoint anybody you like doesn’t mean you should.”
Panel member and Leeds city councillor Les Carter (Con, Adel & Wharfedale), said: “I think the public will be dismayed by the fact they are going to spend this money on a job which is only open to Labour Party members. It’s jobs for the boys, or girls.”
Mr Burns Williamson said: “Other police and crime commissioners have used the same process as the one as I am using, and I am clear that I will be drawing on those with relevant knowledge and expertise to assist me to get the right person in place to help me to defend and protect the communities of West Yorkshire.
“I notified to the panel some weeks ago I would be appointing this role and the cost will be less overall than the previous Police Authority.” What do you think? Click here to register and have your say on the stories and issues that matter to you