Barry Coppinger defends appointment of Ed Chicken

Barry Coppinger Labour's Barry Coppinger worked with Mr Chicken at Middlesbrough Council

Related Stories

Cleveland's newly-elected police and crime commissioner has defended his decision to appoint a former council colleague as his chief of staff.

Barry Coppinger has hired Middlesbrough Council's head of community safety Ed Chicken to the role in his first week in charge.

Stuart Drummond, the outgoing chair of Cleveland Police Authority, described the move as "ill-advised".

But Mr Coppinger said Mr Chicken had "extremely broad experience".

He described the PCC role as "entirely different" to that of the police authority and said he was determined to have an appropriate structure in place.

'No longer required'

Mr Drummond criticised the Labour PCC for dispensing with the services of the police authority's chief executive, Stuart Pudney.

He said: "The incoming commissioner came into the offices on Monday morning, spoke with the chief constable and then spoke with the chief executive and said his services would no longer be required - he was bringing in his own guy.

"He (Mr Pudney) has helped to transform the police authority from an organisation which was virtually on its knees with everything that was going on to something that is transparent, efficient and accountable to the public and has been given a very clean bill of health by the Audit Commission."

Stuart Drummond Outgoing police authority chairman Stuart Drummond said Stuart Pudney had done a great job

Mr Coppinger was formerly executive member for community safety at the council and worked closely with Mr Chicken.

'Value and benefit'

"Ed is coming in to work on a secondment basis and that has been agreed with Middlesbrough Council," the PCC said.

"I believe that the extremely broad experience that Ed has had in the past in community safety and in a whole range of other partnership work in Cleveland and with all these local agencies will be of immense value and benefit to me in the future."

Middlesbrough Council confirmed Mr Chicken would "head up" the PCC office on a year's secondment from the town hall.

Chief executive Gill Rollings said he was "well suited" to the position.

Cleveland Police Authority is currently at the centre of Operation Sacristy - a criminal investigation into individuals with past or present associations with the body.

Mr Pudney was appointed to his role last December on a fixed-term contract until March 2013.

The new PCC said all contracts would be honoured and pledged there would be no "net cost increase" to taxpayers linked to the appointment of Mr Chicken.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Tees



20 °C 15 °C

BBC Local Live

    SHOCK AND SADNESS 09:23: The Shields Gazette Newspaper

    More tributes have been paid to Harton Technology College pupil Jack Burden, who died on a school trip to Tanzania after suffering a severe allergic reaction.

    ON TRACK 09:11: BBC Newcastle

    Staff at Siemens in Hebburn start work today on a major contract to produce parts for electric trains.

    Siemens logo

    They will be making high-tech electrical components as part of the Thameslink programme in London.

    It's set to create up to 300 jobs, so is it time to be optimistic about the jobs market in the North East?

    News on the hour 08:58:

    The top headlines at 09:00 include:

    • BBC Newcastle: The head teacher of a South Shields school says he is devastated at the death of one of his students during a trip to Tanzania.
    • BBC Tees: The North East Ambulance Service has apologised after a woman had to wait almost four hours for an ambulance after a car crash on Teesside.
    Cash bid blow 08:50: The Journal Newspaper

    Plans for a conference centre that would bring a massive boost to the North East economy have not been abandoned, despite a blow of missing out on Government funding.

    Racism claims 08:38:

    A North East police force that referred itself to a watchdog over a review into claims of institutional racism has had the matter returned to it for investigation.

    Cleveland Police logo

    Cleveland Police said it received criticism of aspects of its Equality Review, conducted in 2011 and 2012, and so contacted the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

    The IPCC has referred the matter back to Cleveland and it now looks like an external force will be appointed to investigate the matter.

    Dining alone 08:29: Nicki Hornby BBC Newcastle

    A growing number of us now live alone. In London almost a third of homes are now occupied by just one person. An online article claims the stigma surrounding solo dining has started to disappear.

    If you've eaten out alone, gone to the cinema, the pub, even on holiday, what was it like? What are the pros and cons?

    Call 0191 232 6565 to join the conversation or get in touch on our Facebook page.

    SUN TO COME 08:17: Kay Crewdson BBC Weather

    After a dull start to the day with fog over high ground, conditions will improve from the west with all except the coast seeing plenty of fine sunny weather from late morning.

    Weather forecast

    It will be warm inland but cool along the coast. See more on today's forecast.

    On the roads 08:08:

    One lane is currently closed on the A1 northbound between the Blaydon and Hexham turn-off because of a broken down vehicle, BBC Travel News reports.

    Elsewhere, there's slow-moving traffic on the A194(M) northbound in Gateshead near the White Mare Pool Roundabout following an accident.

    Good morning 08:00: Simon Armstrong BBC News

    Welcome to BBC Local Live this morning. I'll be bringing you news, sport, weather and travel updates from across the North East.

    If you'd like us to feature your comments or pictures, send them to us by email, tweet us @BBCNewsNE or join our Facebook page.



  • Shinji Mikamo's father's watchTime peace

    The story of the watch that survived Hiroshima

  • A man hangs a Catalan flag at his balcony near Barcelona in 2013Caledonia homage

    Who are the Europeans with an eye on the Scottish referendum?

  • Elephant Diaries - BBCGoing wild

    Wildlife film-makers reveal the tricks of the trade

  • Hamas rally in the West Bank village of Yatta, 2006Hamas hopes

    Why the Palestinian group won't back down yet

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Arash AF8Naughty Brits

    From scrappy upstarts to legendary brands, six speed demons that hail from the UK


  • A man holds a sign which reads Bring Back Our GirlsHARDtalk Watch

    Why there is still hope and optimism for the rescue of Nigeria’s kidnapped schoolgirls

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.