Avon & Somerset PCC gets a deputy

On Monday (27 April)Avon & Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens announced the appointment of John Smith.Mr Smith will become the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner. This is a post that did not previously exist.

He arrives on a salary of £39,015 for a three day week, equivalent to a full time salary of £65,025.

What you will not have seen reported is the vote on approving the appointment. Any senior appointment such as Mr Smith’s has to be ratified by a hearing before the Police & Crime Panel.

The vote was very close. 9 in favour and 6 against and The Leveller had heard from sources close to the panel that there was a lot of disquiet around the appointment before the panel hearing and vote.

Whilst the Police service is clearly under a lot of stress dealing with the COVID 19 crisis, it is much less clear why the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office needs an extra pair of hands.

However it should also be said that the close vote was not a reflection of Mr Smith’s ability, much more a question over the need for the resource.

Speaking after the panel approved the appointment Sue Mounstevens gave her reasons “As most people know, I announced earlier this year that I would not be standing for the role of PCC again. Due to the unprecedented emergency that Covid19 has caused, and the cancellation of PCC elections, I now have to remain Avon and Somerset’s Police and Crime Commissioner until May 2021. The demand on my role, and the small team in my office, has been overwhelming in this completely unprecedented time. I am pleased that John Smith was the successful applicant following a rigorous three week recruitment process.”

However she had to acknowledge that support for the role was not overwhelming “I acknowledge the concerns expressed by the panel, particularly those who were not in favour of the appointment of the Deputy PCC. We will look at how we can address some of those concerns and we look forward to working with the Police and Crime Panel going forward.” 

One comment

  • This post should have had a condition that whomever was appointed could not then stand as a candidate for the next Police and Crime Commissioner to be elected in May 2021.

    That would have taken the politics out of this controversial appointment and avoided the impression that John Smith had been either anointed as Sue Mountsteven’s preferred successor or conferred an electoral advantage.

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