Ribble Valley Councillors on the Lancashire Police and Crime panel told Labour Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Commissioner not to spend scarce resources on appointing a deputy but use it for front line policing.
Cllr Ken Hind, Leader of the Ribble Borough Council stated, ''Ged Mirfin and I who represent the Ribble Valley on the PPC panel told the Commissioner that if he had available funds they should be spent on front line policing not creating a deputy for him, which he decided 3 years ago he did not need. We found other members of the panel had sympathy with this approach.”
Cllr Hind continues, ''I pointed out to him this money could be spent on re-opening the front desks in Longridge and Clitheroe police stations .The Ribble Valley is the largest rural Borough in Lancashire which has no point of contact for the public with the police as both Longridge and Clithereo police stations are closed to public access .The alternatives are to travel Accrington, Blackburn, Preston or Burnley.”
Cllr Hind continues, “'Rural policing services are deteriorating as reductions in resources for rural policing are greater than those suffered by the large towns of the county. There is a retreat from rural policing by this Commisioner which means levels of crime are rising and detection rates are too low in the countryside.”
Cllr Hind concludes, 'We in Ribble Valley must be the only area in Lancashire without a fully functioning police station. .Spending this money on frontline policing is a much better use of funds rather than appointing an unelected deputy. We can only hope that Mr Grunshaw if he must go ahead with this appointment will consider choosing people from all walks of life and political views, rather than ''a jobs for the boys'' Labour activist to deputise for him.”
Cllr Ged Mirfin states, “It is testament to all the very difficult questions that we have asked Clive Grunshaw about the withdrawal of rural policing in the Ribble Valley that he feels the need to appoint a Deputy to do the difficult aspects of his job for him. Unfortunately, appointing a politically restricted Junior Research Manager from the ranks of Labour Activists to fulfill this role and who will use it as a stepping stone as part of embarking on a political career will not achieve what he aims to achieve - which was very unclear. That is why the meeting asked him to bring back a much stronger justification in support of the role to the next meeting of the PCC if he did decide to ignore the siren voices around the table and advertise the role anyway despite opposition from Members right across the political spectrum.”