Police boss’s ‘spin doctor’ cost attacked

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SOUTH Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has come under fire for spending almost £14,000 on an interim media manager for two months.

Shaun Wright hired the press officer, who worked full-time hours, from an employment agency, and was charged £42.50 per hour.

Coun Penny Baker, Sheffield Council Liberal Democrat spokeswoman for communities, said: “It’s obscene to think that money intended for bobbies-on-the-beat is being spent on a spin doctor on an equivalent annual salary of £84,000.

“The claim that they have been forced to raise the police council tax precept to cover services is left in tatters.”

Coun Wright said he authorised use of the agency press officer so as not to add further work to the South Yorkshire Police corporate communications unit as it was undergoing a review to see if cuts could be made. He said he had relied on officials to make the appointment.

■ Coun Wright is standing down as Labour member for Rawmarsh and Parkgate on Rotherham Council, triggering a by-election.