Jobs for the girls?

South Yorkshire PCC Dr Alan Billings
South Yorkshire PCC Dr Alan Billings

What a genuine surprise? According to newspaper reports South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner Dr Alan Billings has created controversy by appointing the wife of his former election agent as his official part-time assistant, on a £31,500 salary.

Sioned-Mair Richards, a former Labour Sheffield councillor, is married to Howard Knight, who worked as Dr Billings’ election agent during his successful campaign to be re-elected commissioner (PCC) in May 2016.

Sheffield Lib Dem councillor Joe Otten said the appointment “stinks” but Dr Billings insisted the process had been open and transparent and said Ms Richards was the best person for the job.

Ms Richards was a high-profile Labour Sheffield councillor until she failed to win a seat at the local elections in May.

‘Jobs for the boys’ or should that be ‘girls’?

He may as well have given the job to another ex-Sheffield Labour councillor, his wife Veronica Hardstaff.

Terry Palmer

South Lea Avenue, Hoyland, Barnsley, S74