Under-fire deputy to give up allowance

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A DEPUTY police commissioner appointed against the advice of a watchdog has pledged to waive his earnings as a councillor, but is still refusing to give up his council seat.

Humberside Police Commissioner Matthew Grove defied the police and crime panel set up to monitor his performance by appointing fellow East Riding Conservative councillor Paul Robinson as his deputy last month, after the panel had voted eight to one to reject him.

The appointment provoked a barrage of criticism amid claims of “cronyism” and a potential conflict of interest, and a motion calling Coun Robinson’s two roles “incompatible” will go before councillors today.

Coun Robinson, who earns a salary of £45,000 for a four-day week as deputy commissioner, attempted to draw some of the sting yesterday by saying he would no longer claim his basic councillor’s allowance of £10,711.

Writing on his blog, the Howdenshire ward councillor, said: “After consulting widely with Howdenshire residents, parish councillors, family and friends almost everyone I have spoken to are insistent I stay on as a ward councillor and continue to work on their behalf.

“I will always listen to the people I have been elected to serve, and after taking time to consider their views, my decision is that I will continue as an ERYC councillor but I propose not to take the annual allowance of £10,711.”

He said he was considering using the allowance to “further good causes in the area”.

East Riding Council leader Stephen Parnaby and David Rudd, the panel chairman and East Riding Tory councillor, have both called on Coun Robinson to resign his seat.

Coun Rudd said he intends to support the motion by Labour member Paul Hogan.

Coun Grove, the member for Mid Holderness, said he intends to resign his seat at the “earliest appropriate opportunity”. He earns the councillor’s allowance and £75,000 as commissioner.