Deputy PCC Paul Robinson to rethink role as councillor after colleagues' vote on 'conflict of interest'
DEPUTY police and crime commissioner Paul Robinson will rethink his decision to remain an East Riding councillor after taking on the new £45,000-a-year role.
Speaking after council colleagues effectively voted for him to resign his seat, he said: "I am going to reflect on what has been said before making any further comment.
"I am going to take the opportunity to discuss the matter again with my constituents over the weekend to see what their views are."
Under council procedure, he took no part in yesterday's full council debate on a motion tabled by Labour's Paul Hogan.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
The motion asked councillors to agree his dual roles as councillor and deputy police and crime commissioner were "incompatible".
Instead, Cllr Robinson watched the debate from the public gallery making detailed notes of what was being said.
The vote saw 54 councillors vote in favour of the motion with just five against. There were also four abstentions.
Cllr Hogan claimed the job of the deputy PCC should be a full-time position because of the salary that went with it.
He also said Cllr Robinson faced a conflict of interest if he remained as a councillor representing the Howdenshire ward because his council work would inevitably involve crime issues.
Council leader Councillor Stephen Parnaby was the first of several Conservative politicians to criticise their Tory colleague for opting to stay on as a councillor.
Stressing the fact that the ruling Tory group would have a free vote on the issue, he said the debate was not intended to be about individuals but about the rights and wrongs of someone holding the dual roles at the same time.
He said: "In my view it's about a conflict of interest and it's also about public perception. This doesn't look good and it needs to come to an end."
Councillor Jane Evison claimed the issue was in danger of tarnishing the reputation of the council.
"What has happened over the last few weeks has brought this council into disrepute and, by association, it has damaged all of us as councillors," she said.
"I do believe there is a conflict of interest and the job should either be full-time or not at all."
Support for Cllr Robinson's stance was thin on thin ground but Councillor Tony Galbraith did back his fellow Conservative.
He said he did not believe there was any issue of a conflict of interest in having the two roles and accused Labour of trying to exact "petty revenge" over losing the PCC election by tabling the motion.
"It has already been established legally there is no conflict of interest here and the legislation has specifically ensured the role of deputy is not politically restrictive," said Cllr Galbraith.
Councillor Mike Whitehead also supported Cllr Robinson, claiming residents in his Howdenshire ward had been strongly urging him to continue as their councillor.
Despite the motion, the council has no formal powers to force any resignation.
Earlier this week Cllr Robinson said he would give up his £10,700-a-year basic allowance as a councillor while restricting his council duties to just one day a week.