Expect more spats over police budget
County Hall Conservatives' very public row with Tory chum Sir Clive Loader over £1.6 million of the police budget does not bode well for what both parties would hope to be "the start of a beautiful friendship".
I refer to ("Crime chief will be asked to reconsider police plan", Mercury, February 15) and ("If I have to make painful decisions, I will..."), More Magazine, February 16.
Sir Clive's diminutive 54 per cent of a 16 per cent election turn-out figure is hardly a strong mandate to impose his will on residents of the police area and his County Hall chums.
The schism between the two is simply a battle of who thinks they know best for policing.
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On the one hand, we have a newly- elected police and crime commissioner wanting to make his mark.
On the other, we have furious County Hall grandees casting an eye on their own dubious fortunes at the county council elections in May.
How is the public to judge who is right? Can they perhaps turn to the independent police and crime panel that has been set up to oversee the work of the commissioner for guidance? In short, not really.
The panel is stuffed to the gunnels with council appointees and former police authority members, essentially the great and the good from across the counties.
A quick flick through the members' declarations of interest reveals a number of them to be Freemasons, something that Sir Clive's own declaration tells us he is not.
No doubt those masons on the panel are able to disregard any private conversations they may have down at their lodge and provide an unfettered commentary on the commissioner's plans.
Like Sam in Casablanca, expect Sir Clive's saga to play again and again.
Jenny Grey, Narborough.