Longmore survives no confidence vote

By Rob George Friday 18 January 2013 Updated: 25/01 10:35

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A VOTE of no confidence in West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner Bill Longmore was rejected by members of Worcestershire County Council last Thursday (January 17).

The county's Labour group had called for Mr Longmore to consider his position after controversially appointing his friend Barrie Sheldon as his deputy.

Labour councillor Alan Amos described the appointment of Mr Sheldon as a “blatant, rampant, and self-serving act of cronyism, which betrays extraordinary arrogance and bad judgement.”

“Obviously, Mr Longmore intended this appointment before the election. Had he told voters that he was going to do this at anytime during his election campaign, then people could have made a judgement before voting for him,” Coun Amos added.

His calls were echoed by Labour group leader Coun Peter McDonald who accused Mr Longmore of bringing his office into disrepute.

But the motion failed to win the support of a number of councillors, many of whom criticised Mr Longmore but found flaws in the legislation drawn up to elect Police and Crime Commissioners.

Council leader Coun Adrian Hardman said: “There is no doubt Mr Longmore has got off to a terrible start.

“If he had embraced transparency he would not be in the mess he is in now."

Liberal Democrat Sue Askin, said: "I won't support the motion, it's the legislation brought in by this Government that's wrong and it's the legislation we should be attacking today."

Just four Labour councillors voted for the motion with 27 votes against and 18 councillors abstained.

Speaking after the vote Mr Longmore said: "I intend to work constructively with the Police and Crime Panel and with all the Local Authorities in West Mercia and I am pleased that we can now move the agenda on to what really matters, providing the best policing for the people of West Mercia."

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