Bill Longmore survives no confidence motion

Police and crime commissioner Bill Longmore

Police and crime commissioner Bill Longmore

First published in News Worcester News: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

POLICE and crime commissioner Bill Longmore has survived a ‘no confidence’ motion at Worcestershire County Council - but was subject to widespread criticism.

West Mercia Police’s first ever elected boss was likened to “Corporal Jones” from the BBC sitcom Dad’s Army during angry clashes at County Hall.

But the Labour Party’s motion was widely rejected as not a single Conservative or Liberal Democrat councillor voted for it - with most blaming the Government for “sloppy” legislation surrounding PCCs.

Mr Longmore has been criticised for appointing fellow police colleague and election campaign manager Barrie Sheldon as his £50,000 deputy without a proper recruitment process.

He ignored the advice of the watchdog-style police and crime panel to go ahead with the move, which led for calls for him to resign during a full council meeting today.

Councillor Alan Amos, deputy leader of the county’s Labour group, said: “This is not a Labour motion, it’s a people of Worcestershire motion.

“He is solely responsible for this mess, and took no notice of the panel’s advice whatsoever in carrying on regardless - if his deputy is that brilliant why not advertise the job and go through a professional procedure.

“It’s a blatant, rampant self-serving act of cronyism, the police should be run professionally, it should not be jobs for the boys.”

Other politicians said the Government was to blame for allowing PCCs to make appointments without a competitive process.

Councillor Sue Askin, a Liberal Democrat, said: “It is the legislation that is wrong, and it is the legislation we should be attacking.”

The leader of the authority, Conservative Councillor Adrian Hardman said he was “appalled” by Mr Longmore’s actions but refused to vote for the motion.

“I saw it as a reward for his election campaign manager for helping him, and it’s true to say he has got off to a terrible start,” he said.

“But he’s done nothing illegal, and other Conservative and Labour PCCs across the country have done the same things - you have to look at the legislation.”

Councillor Richard Udall, from the Labour group, said Mr Longmore “will forever be tarnished by his bad judgement”, liking him to “Corporal Jones from Dad’s Army, screaming don’t panic”, but Tory Councillor John Smith said the council chamber was witnessing “character assassination” and called the attacks “disgusting”.

When the motion went to a vote, all four Labour politicians voted for it but 27 voted against and 18 abstained.

After the meeting Coun Amos said "the people of Worcestershire will not be happy" with those who voted against it.

The motion, if carried, would not have forced Mr Longmore or Mr Sheldon to resign.

Mr Longmore has called the furore "sour grapes" and has asked people to judge him in three-and-a-half years time.

Comments (8)

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5:12pm Thu 17 Jan 13

Malvernrob says...

Perhaps now Cllrs Udall and Amos will do the honourable thing and resign! No, of course not. For goodness sake, give the guy a chance to see if he can do the job, then if not, you can all start your political jousting.
Perhaps now Cllrs Udall and Amos will do the honourable thing and resign! No, of course not. For goodness sake, give the guy a chance to see if he can do the job, then if not, you can all start your political jousting. Malvernrob
  • Score: 0

5:31pm Thu 17 Jan 13

Ballymoss says...

Oh what a shame...he'll go eventually! He looked terrible doing that interview last night on Midlands Today, much older than 75!!!
Oh what a shame...he'll go eventually! He looked terrible doing that interview last night on Midlands Today, much older than 75!!! Ballymoss
  • Score: 0

5:41pm Thu 17 Jan 13

hagleywhinger says...

For those people who have been alarmed at the public face of Bill Longmore and his apparent lack of personal and professional qualities, a quotation from Cassandra in the 1958 Daily Mirror is still as valid today as it was then. Cassandra was commenting on the Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd. He said: " We have a man in office who is demonstrably incapable of doing the job.The idiot's lantern is getting too big for its ugly gleam." Many West Mercian people, who have watched the car crash that is Bill Longmore, are hoping the ugly gleam of the idiot's lantern is not hear to stay.
For those people who have been alarmed at the public face of Bill Longmore and his apparent lack of personal and professional qualities, a quotation from Cassandra in the 1958 Daily Mirror is still as valid today as it was then. Cassandra was commenting on the Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd. He said: " We have a man in office who is demonstrably incapable of doing the job.The idiot's lantern is getting too big for its ugly gleam." Many West Mercian people, who have watched the car crash that is Bill Longmore, are hoping the ugly gleam of the idiot's lantern is not hear to stay. hagleywhinger
  • Score: 0

5:49pm Thu 17 Jan 13

Jabbadad says...

I also feel he already looks frail but all the more reason for appointing a second in command who has a proven police background. The cries of woe from Amos & Co are just plain political, and since Bill Longmore has not committed any mis-demeanor, or illegality, then he should be allowed to get on with his job. And all of us, (Which includes me) who didn't bother to vote are more guilty than Bill Longmore.
I also feel he already looks frail but all the more reason for appointing a second in command who has a proven police background. The cries of woe from Amos & Co are just plain political, and since Bill Longmore has not committed any mis-demeanor, or illegality, then he should be allowed to get on with his job. And all of us, (Which includes me) who didn't bother to vote are more guilty than Bill Longmore. Jabbadad
  • Score: 0

6:04pm Thu 17 Jan 13

dropkick55 says...

“Corporal Jones”Had Ideas in the realms of fantasy,but you could rely on him.
Bill Longmore is living his fantasy, but you would never trust the corrupt A HOLE!!
“Corporal Jones”Had Ideas in the realms of fantasy,but you could rely on him. Bill Longmore is living his fantasy, but you would never trust the corrupt A HOLE!! dropkick55
  • Score: 0

8:29am Fri 18 Jan 13

imustbeoldiwearacap says...

I'm a long-time critic of both the concept of the PCC and Bill Longmore. Local councils can debate motions of no confidence all they like (Bromsgrove next) but he is here to stay! The original law enabling the creation of the PCC was totally flawed and we should be attacking those who foisted this upon us. As for Bill, a public show of contrition would not come amiss - what he did was not illegal, but showed his naivity and arrogance! Whether or not he and his deputy are "fit for purpose"? I have my doubts. But then, we get the idiots for whom we vote (or not in this case!)
I'm a long-time critic of both the concept of the PCC and Bill Longmore. Local councils can debate motions of no confidence all they like (Bromsgrove next) but he is here to stay! The original law enabling the creation of the PCC was totally flawed and we should be attacking those who foisted this upon us. As for Bill, a public show of contrition would not come amiss - what he did was not illegal, but showed his naivity and arrogance! Whether or not he and his deputy are "fit for purpose"? I have my doubts. But then, we get the idiots for whom we vote (or not in this case!) imustbeoldiwearacap
  • Score: 0

9:27am Fri 18 Jan 13

reflector says...

Every time I hear Mr Longmore speak I have less confidence in his ability to do the job - It's not just how he appointed his deputy.

I am afraid that, as usual, our elected councillors voted along party lines but even those who supported him had little to say in his favour. Interesting that the Tories and Lib Dems blame the legislation when it was their government which forced it through.

How 18 could abstain on a straightforward issue such as this is pathetic as surely you knoiw whether you have confidence in someone or not. It sounds more like they simply didn't have the courage of their convictions
Every time I hear Mr Longmore speak I have less confidence in his ability to do the job - It's not just how he appointed his deputy. I am afraid that, as usual, our elected councillors voted along party lines but even those who supported him had little to say in his favour. Interesting that the Tories and Lib Dems blame the legislation when it was their government which forced it through. How 18 could abstain on a straightforward issue such as this is pathetic as surely you knoiw whether you have confidence in someone or not. It sounds more like they simply didn't have the courage of their convictions reflector
  • Score: 0

12:51pm Fri 18 Jan 13

mayall8808 says...

reflector absolutely agree with you, i am not surprised at this though as most the councillors these days have no guts, they do not represent the people who voted them in they just tow party lines or just abstain pathetic.
Mr Longmore has done nothing illeagle but has just shown total arrogance to everyone.
reflector absolutely agree with you, i am not surprised at this though as most the councillors these days have no guts, they do not represent the people who voted them in they just tow party lines or just abstain pathetic. Mr Longmore has done nothing illeagle but has just shown total arrogance to everyone. mayall8808
  • Score: 0

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