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Deputy Police Commissioner takes a pay cut…. but still gets £65k for part-time job

Deputy Police Commissioner takes a pay cut…. but still gets £65k for part-time job

🕔26.Nov 2012

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Bob Jones found himself having to defend a decision to appoint Birmingham politician Yvonne Mosquito as his deputy on a £65,000 salary for a part-time job during his first public scrutiny session.

Mr Jones was asked repeatedly by councillors to justify the role of Ms Mosquito, who is a Labour city councillor in Birmingham and a former deputy chairman of the police authority.

Police and Crime Panel members demanded to know how Mr Jones selected Ms Mosquito, how he arrived at a figure for her salary and what special attributes she would bring to the job.

The panel declined to announce immediately the result of a Confirmatory Hearing at which Ms Mosquito’s nomination as deputy commissioner was discussed.

Under legislation setting up PCCs, the panel must publish a report on the proposed appointment in which it has to recommend whether the candidate should be appointed or not.

A decision will be announced later this week, although Mr Jones has powers to overrule any move to reject Ms Mosquito and can appoint a deputy commissioner with or without the panel’s blessing.

The panel has a clear Labour majority and it would be a major surprise and a serious blow to Mr Jones’s authority if members do decide to reject Ms Mosquito

Panel chairman Darren Cooper, the Labour leader of Sandwell Council, urged Mr Jones to appoint a number of unpaid assistant commissioners instead who would be able to form a close relationship between the police and local communities.

Mr Jones, a former Labour councillor in Wolverhampton, said he had based his deputy’s salary on the size of allowances paid to the deputy leader of Birmingham City Council and to the deputy mayor of Leicester.

He rejected a suggestion that the deputy commissioner’s salary should be set by an independent remuneration committee, claiming that such a body would cost too much to establish.

Mr Jones’s own salary, £100,000 a year, was fixed by the Home Office after consultation with the Senior Salaries Board, but commissioners are free to decide for themselves on payment for deputies.

Mr Jones told panel members that Ms Mosquito had agreed to take a £10,000 cut. Her salary as deputy was to have been £75,000 but she volunteered to take less in order to reflect the fact that she will still be entitled to a £16,000 allowance as a Birmingham city councillor.

He said Ms Mosquito would nominally work a 32-hour week but he expected she would be at her desk for far longer in reality. “I am expecting her to be in breach of the European Working Time Directive,” he added.

Mr Jones added: “The reason I am nominating Yvonne as my deputy is that clearly we have had a long working relationship and we share a common philosophy. Yvonne has a proud record as an ex-police authority chairman and is well known as a community campaigner.

“She has emotional empathy which sometimes perhaps I may lack.”

He hopes that Ms Mosquito, who is African-Caribbean, will play an important role in bringing West Midlands Police closer to minority ethnic communities. Mr Jones and Ms Mosquito are to set up a “trust and confidence summit” to seek views about the way the force operates in  African-Caribbean and Asian areas.

 

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