As I have now taken up the role of Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside I have given some thought to my continuing role as an East Riding of Yorkshire Councillor for Howdenshire.
Much has been said about my ability to balance the two roles and I am confident of being able to do so and continue to provide a high quality service to Howdenshire residents, as I have done for the past 5 years. The major difference for me moving forward is that I am no longer actively involved in my company, so I’ve effectively now given up my ‘day job’ to take on the position of Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner.
With regard to questions about a conflict of interest between the two roles, if there were any issues relating to police and crime in Howdenshire where a conflict was to arise, I would declare this and allow my fellow ward councillors to act without my involvement. I have already removed myself from the council’s Corporate Communities Overview and Scrutiny sub-committee and the Licencing Committee on which I previously sat where a possible conflict of interest may occur. I have also resigned from the Chairmanship of the Goole & Howdenshire Community Partnership.
After consulting widely with Howdenshire residents, Parish Councillors, family and friends almost everyone I have spoken to are insistent I stay on as a ward councillor and continue to work on their behalf. I will always listen to the people I have been elected to serve, and after taking time to consider their views, my decision is that I will continue as an ERYC Councillor but I propose NOT to take the annual allowance of £10,711.
Many who know me will testify that I serve on the Ouse & Humber Drainage Board, both Gilberdyke and Howden School governing bodies, and the local Parish Council - all in a voluntary capacity without payment. Others know I lived and worked in West Africa as a volunteer development worker for less than £95 per month.
One of the key areas of Matthew Grove’s manifesto we will work to deliver is the significant increase in the number of special constables. As we are asking for volunteers to serve their communities with distinction without payment, I can think of no better way to serve mine than leading by example and volunteering my services as a councillor.
I am looking at options of using my allowance to further good causes in the area.