Mayor unlikely to go for police role

Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond
Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond

HARTLEPOOL Mayor Stuart Drummond says it is “highly unlikely” he will stand for the Police and Crime Commissioner role in Cleveland – but hasn’t ruled it out completely.

Mayor Drummond, current chair of Cleveland Police Authority (CPA), said he hasn’t given the powerful new position much thought but admitted he couldn’t afford the £5,000 deposit to stand in the November election.

The new Police and Crime Commissioners will replace police authorities and the role is expected to pay around £65,000.

Commissioners will have the power to appoint chief constables and to call on them to retire or resign.

Their responsibilities will include holding the chief constable to account, securing the maintenance of an efficient and effective force, setting the police precept and budget and producing a police and crime plan.

Mayor Drummond said: “It costs about £5,000 for the deposit to stand.

“It is not a definite no, but highly unlikely.

“It is just too expensive to run an election campaign as an independent in such a wide area.”

Mayor Drummond picks up £19,940 for his chairman’s commitments along with the £8,375 that all CPA members receive on a yearly basis.

He receives a special responsibility allowance (SRA) of £58,135 for his role as town Mayor, as well as a basic allowance which all councillors receive of £5,767.

Mayor Drummond estimated that it could cost £20,000 to run a campaign, but added “never say never”.

He said: “It is not something I have given much thought to at the moment, it is not high on my list of priorities.

“To put a proper election campaign together you would need to leaflet drop about 500,000 homes across Cleveland.”

But he did say it was a position he could do because he knows the organisation well through his role as chair of the CPA.

Mayor Drummond added: “If I did get elected I would probably have to stand down as Mayor of Hartlepool, even though the legislation says I can do both jobs.

“I don’t think I would want to do that at this present moment in time.

“The role is not something that would daunt me but there would be big decisions about what happens in Hartlepool and that is my priority and always has been.”

As previously reported, Labour councillor Jonathan Brash has been named on a two-man shortlist to run as Labour’s candidate for the Police and Crime Commissioner role in Cleveland.

Coun Brash is battling it out with Middlesbrough councillor Barry Coppinger to stand for Labour.