Wales politics

North Wales police commissioner deputy choice blocked

Arfon Jones and Ann Griffith
Image caption Arfon Jones (L) and Ann Griffith (R) are both Plaid Cymru councillors in North Wales

The appointment of a deputy to the new North Wales police and crime commissioner has been blocked amid claims of a "lack of transparency".

Arfon Jones wanted to give fellow Plaid Cymru councillor Ann Griffith the £42,000-a-year post without advertising it, as permitted.

The North Wales Police and Crime Panel, which scrutinises the commissioner, refused to confirm the appointment.

Some members were concerned Ms Griffith would not promise to quit the council.

Police and crime commissioners are entitled to appoint a deputy without the need to advertise the role.

But Julie Fallon, who chairs the panel, said at the start of a meeting on Thursday there was "concern about the lack of transparency we feel has occurred throughout this process".

Mr Jones told the panel he had chosen Ms Griffith to be his deputy based on her skills, values and a priority to keep young people out of the criminal justice system.

She had 30 years of experience working with vulnerable children and adults, he added.

Ms Griffith, answering questions, insisted she had the knowledge and integrity to do the job, having worked with the NSPCC for ten years.

She said she would ensure there were no conflicts of interest with her roles chairing planning and licensing for Anglesey, and would be flexible on the time commitment to the deputy commissioner's job.

When asked if she would stand down from the council at the 2017 elections, she said she would need to discuss it further, considering the people of Anglesey and her party.

Mr Jones, a retired police inspector, has said he will stand down from his role as a Plaid Cymru councillor in Wrexham in 2017.

Ms Fallon said she would give the panel's reasons for blocking the appointment in seven days' time.

The previous commissioner for North Wales, Winston Roddick, said after his election in 2012 he was not intending to appoint a deputy.

But in 2013 he agreed to do so at the insistence of the panel, amid concerns about his workload.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

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