Deputy crime tsar bows to pressure

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UNDER-FIRE deputy police commissioner Paul Robinson has bowed to increasing pressure and announced he will quit his council seat in March.

The Conservative East Riding councillor claimed he had been subjected to an “orchestrated and personal” attack by the Tory-led administration on East Riding Council.

On Wednesday more than 50 councillors, including many Conservatives, voted in favour of a Labour-led motion saying the two roles were incompatible, amid claims it was damaging councillors’ and the council’s reputation.

The councillor, who was appointed by his council colleague, the new Humberside Police Commissioner Matthew Grove, for the £45,000-a-year, four-day-a-week role against the advice of a watchdog, says he will step down at the same time as Coun Grove.

Coun Robinson said: “Sitting through that debate, it was quite clear it was very well orchestrated and it was very personal. It dawned on me as I was listening that there would be more and more barriers put up against me being an effective councillor for Howdenshire and for me that wasn’t the way to go, but unfortunately that’s the way things are at County Hall.”

He added: “Matthew and I will stand down around the same time so we don’t have to have two separate by-elections.”

Council leader Steve Parnaby said he was “delighted”, adding: “I am not interested in conspiracy theories; it was all done openly.

“My main concern has always been the potential conflict of interest and as it has transpired the public perception of the appointment.”

Labour councillor Paul Hogan who moved the motion said Coun Robinson had done the right thing. He said: “It was never about a particular councillor. He has made the right decision, we welcome it and we wish him well in his role.”

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