A TOP councillor says the decision to give a former city MP a senior policing position was a ‘terrible case of cronyism’.
Councillor Rob New, cabinet member for public safety on the city council, has questioned Hampshire’s Tory police and crime commissioner Michael Lane’s choice of Flick Drummond as his new deputy.
Cllr New told councillors during a full city council meeting that he was yet to be convinced that the appointment of the former Portsmouth South MP would provide ‘value for money’.
His comments come as Hampshire Police and Crime Panel confirmed Mrs Drummond’s appointment in the £64,000 role last week.
Addressing councillors on the topic of bringing back community tasking co-ordination groups back to the city, Cllr New said: ‘It is my hope that someone in that role, who lives here in Portsmouth, will be able to provide value for money [and look into funding the groups].
‘I hope I will not be proved right that this was a terrible case of cronyism.
‘I am yet to be convinced the deputy will provide any value for money as opposed to funds going towards other officers.’
I hope I will not be proved right that this was a terrible case of cronyismCouncillor Rob New, cabinet member for public safety
The meetings were previously disbanded by Hampshire Police and used to see the force, fire and rescue service, neighbourhood watch and council meet to discuss and address key crime issues in the city.
Cllr New said he had written to Mr Lane and Mrs Drummond about the possibility of bringing the meetings back.
He added that he had yet to receive a response.
Mr Lane said at the time of the job announcement that Mrs Drummond’s political expertise would assist him improving the force and making the area safer.
The commissioner said: ‘My consideration of who to appoint ran alongside the sense of someone that would fulfil the mandate that I have.
‘I was elected as Conservative candidate and as Michael Lane to champion the community. Flick as an MP is also someone who is used to championing the community that she served as MP.’
Mrs Drummond previously expressed her pride at taking up the new role. She added: ‘This is helping give a greater voice to Hampshire people.’