Concerns as new police commissioner Matthew Grove hires deputy
A DECISION by new police boss Matthew Grove to appoint a deputy against advice has been criticised by a leading North East Lincolnshire councillor.
As reported, Matthew Grove made East Riding Councillor Paul Robinson – who he once served with as a Conservative councillor – his deputy last week, despite the Police and Crime Panel voting 8-1 against his appointment.
Councillor Peter Wheatley (Lab, Yarborough) was one of the eight members of that panel – representing all political parties and areas in Humberside – who voted against.
He said: "We all had a chance to question him during our first meeting and he didn't seem to know anything about budgeting or policing.
BLINDS & CURTAINS MADE 2 MEASURE WE COVER SCUNTHORPE & GRIMSBY...View details
Have a look at our website and view our fantastic new blinds! then you could book a free home visit were we show you more samples and help you choose your new blinds.www.grimsby-sunblinds.co.uk
Contact: 01472 809887
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"Matthew Grove sent us all an e-mail afterwards that basically said thanks for turning up but I'm going to do what I want anyway."
Mr Robinson will be paid £45,000 a year for the post which would have been £60,000 but for the fact that he will only be working four days a week instead of five so he can maintain his duties as a councillor.
Mr Wheatley added: "The fact he didn't want to give up being a councillor was another thing that put us off. It is a very important job and I would want to give it 100 per cent if it were me."
In a letter to Mr Grove following the confirmation hearing with the panel, North East Lincolnshire Council (NELC) recommended that Mr Robinson was not appointed.
As well as criticising Mr Robinson's lack of understanding and experience of police matters, the letter complains that his skills do not complement Mr Grove's – as they have a similar background – and that they were "disappointed" he did not publicise his plan to appoint a deputy during his election campaign.
Readers also expressed their views, with one, commenting on www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk, calling the appointment an example of "cronyism".
Mr Wheatley is also concerned about the precedent that the disagreement might set for the relationship between the panel – made up of 14 members who advise and scrutinise the commissioner's decisions.
He added: "There is a wealth of experience on that panel, including people who spent many years working with the police authority.
"Mr Grove always said that he would be a listening Police Crime Commissioner but on this occasion, he doesn't seem to have listened at all. That was our first meeting and while I never expected our relationship to be cosy, I hope it improves in the future."
Mr Grove said: "I have given serious consideration to the panel's views, which were shared in the confirmation hearing. Having considered all the available information I have decided not to accept the recommendation of the panel."
He said he will write to all members of the panel explaining the decision.
THE decision to have a public vote for Britain’s new police crime commissioners was always going to be a controversial one.
As a result both voters and the media will be watching these new chiefs with close interest, picking up on any decision they make, and quite right too!
This is a vital role for the future of our policing – an extremely powerful position that shapes law and order in North East Lincolnshire.
The same can be said across the boarder in Lincolnshire.
In these early stages of their police presidencies these commissioners need to ensure they are ticking the right boxes in terms of public confidence and approval – winning the ratings war will mean a term of office that is supported.
And, when attempting to tackle such a huge issue as crime reduction and safety, that support is essential.
However, our Humberside boss, Matthew Grove has certainly not shied away from controversy in a bid to win that popularity contest.
So let us hope that, in appointing the deputy he has, he can indeed get the results that matter to the people of our area as they will ultimately determine his success or failure. His next big task will be the appointment of a new chief constable – and what a task!
As if spending almost £140,000 a year of tax money in salary is not enough responsibility!
More important however, is making sure the new chief can successfully take Humberside Police Force in a direction that benefits the officers serving under them and the public on our streets.
*Matthew Grove will be coming into the Grimsby Telegraph for an on-line debate on www.thissigrimsby.co.uk on Thursday, January 10 at 1pm – make sure you log on and be part of the debate.