WEST Mercia’s new police and crime commissioner has gone ahead and appointed his friend, campaign manager and former colleague as a £50,000 deputy – with the salary coming from public funds.
Within weeks of his own appointment – on a tax-payer funded £75,000 a year – independent Bill Longmore has now set himself up against the councillors on West Mercia police and crime panel who will oversee his role.
At a tense meeting last week the panel called on Mr Longmore top appoint a deputy through a proper selection process.
Yesterday he confirmed that he was ignoring this advice to make Barrie Sheldon his deputy.
Legislation allows Mr Longmore to directly appoint a deputy.
“I am aware this is a controversial issue, I remain confident Barrie’s qualities will complement those I bring to the PCC office,” said Mr Longmore.
Bill Longmore, pictured, was elected last month
Mr Sheldon said he was “very proud” to be appointed deputy.
See this week’s Hereford Times for more