My deputy is good value for money

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I am responding to “Disgruntled Pensioner” (Star letters, 17 January instant) regarding concerns after the announcement of the appointment of a Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire.

While the remuneration for my deputy is from the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s budget, I can assure your readers that not only do I take very great care with any necessary expenditure of my office, but I am held fully accountable for it.

I would like to take the opportunity to point out to your readers that the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner replaces the previous lesser role of 17 Police Authority Members, each of whom received an annual allowance of £12,130, so the combined remuneration for my deputy and myself is far lower than it was previously.

Also, I would add that despite the reduction from 17 Police Authority members to just my deputy and me, the 1.35 million residents who occupy the 1,552 square kilometres of South Yorkshire, with its four police districts in Sheffield (the fourth largest city in England), Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham, has not changed.

I can assure all readers any budgetary expense is as necessary as it is transparent.

Shaun Wright, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Police and Crime Commissioners are not wanted or needed – the election turnout showed that. Shaun Wright, Commissioner for South Yorkshire, now wants to appoint a deputy on a salary of £45,000 a year – Tracey Cheetham. She will continue as a Barnsley Labour councillor with an allowance of £10,426.

I’m sure readers will be thinking what I’m thinking. Why do we need the role of Deputy Commissioner?

Where is the value to the taxpayer in paying £45,000 to a part time deputy?

How many hours a week will Tracey Cheetham find for this job?

How can the coalition have spent millions on elections and to pay commissioners when Joe public faces cuts across the board to public services?

This smacks of Labour Party patronage rather than the effective use of public funds for policing.

Andrew Cooper, Green Party Prospective Lead Candidate for 2014 European Elections