A COUNCILLOR has started a petition calling for West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner to drop plans to appoint an unelected deputy from the ranks of his own party.
Mark Burns-Williamson, who is paid £100,000 a year, is seeking a deputy on a salary of up to £56,571 but only Labour Party members will be considered.
The move was criticised earlier this week by Labour and Tory councillors.
Yesterday Councillor Andrew Cooper, a Green on Kirklees Council, set up an online petition.
He said: “It is a sad example of the Labour Party establishing a post to provide patronage for their members with no accountability.
“It should be dropped immediately and I urge people to sign this petition to show the strength of local feeling on this waste of public money.”
Last night Mr Burns-Williamson said he would not be dropping the plan.
He said he had previously lobbied the Government to allow the post of deputy to be directly elected.
“The government ignored those calls by me and the former West Yorkshire Police Authority of which I was Chair but instead included the facility for a PCC to appoint a deputy as the only other politically unrestricted role in their office.
“Police and Crime Commissioners across the country in forces much smaller and less complex than our own have appointed deputies, assistants and advisers already, I have chosen to conduct a thorough interview process rightly open to Labour Party members in West Yorkshire and will appoint a Deputy in due course at less cost than the previous system.”
The petition has so far attracted eight names. It can be found via www.ipetitions.com