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Lone woman in policing group
THE selection of six people to become the ‘eyes and ears’ of West Mercia’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) has come under fire for being “too narrow”.
Councillor Lynn Denham said she was concerned there was only one woman – Gwyneth Gill for Herefordshire – named as one of the six community ambassadors.
The other five are former Droitwich mayor, Coun Richard Morris for south Worcestershire, Michael Layton for north Worcestershire, Sajid Wounis for Telford and Wrekin and Graham Oliver for Shropshire.
Chris Mair, from Upton-upon-Severn was announced as the sixth, and will cover communications.
All six ambassadors will act on behalf of West Mercia’s PCC Bill Longmore and will act as a middle man between him and the public.
Deputy PCC, Barrie Sheldon, told West Mercia’s Police and Crime Panel the selection process had been moving along “quite nicely” and they were only waiting for a couple more references but could not see any problems.
But Coun Denham questioned the make-up of the group, saying it seemed “too narrow”.
“I am pleased to see at least one female ambassador but I am concerned there are not more,” she said. “It seems to be extremely narrow and that is a concern.”
Admitting that they had a “limited pool” of applicants to choose from, Mr Sheldon said all the ambassadors had a good spread of experience.
He said: “We didn’t have that many applicants to choose from, but we ended up with some excellent people.
“We had to choose from what we had got but we are very pleased with the mix of experience including the ethnic mix we have.
“It was an open and transparent procedure.”
The six were introduced to Mr Longmore during a session at police headquarters and an official announcement on the appointments will be made soon.