By election after £4,500 a year councillor quits - nine days after resigning £85,000 a year job as Cambridgeshire police and crime commissioner
PUBLISHED: 16:50 21 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:50 21 November 2019
A £4,500 a year district councillor has quit just nine days after resigning his £85,000 a year role as police and crime commissioner for Cambridgeshire.
Jason Ablewhite will be replaced as a Huntingdonshire district councillor at a by election in the New Year whilst an interim commissioner for police will be announced next week.
Ray Bisby, his deputy, has applied but has not appointed until the 11 member police and crime and panel conducts an interview and makes a decision in Peterborough next Wednesday. His is the only name being put forward.
The panel will come under pressure to release what one senior councillor said this week was "a more adequate explanation of why Jason Ablewhite resigned.
"No public official should resign without that."
Mr Bisby describes the resignation of his boss "as a shock" but hopes he will be able to take over until fresh elections are held next year.
"I never expected that we would be in this position but I am willing to become acting police and crime commissioner.
"I see the role of acting commissioner as one of good stewardship and the careful management of the statutory functions entrusted to the position."
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Mr Bisby, as well as being a Peterborough city councillor, also has a background that includes a spell with the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).
"Having been medically retired from the RUC in 1999, I undertook voluntary work with the Northern Ireland Prison Service," he says. "This involved working with both prisoners and prison officers to help resolve their individual or working issues."
After moving to Peterborough he chaired a policing board "which provided regular interaction between Cambridgeshire Constabulary and residents".
The police and crime panel that is likely to confirm his appointment is made up of 11 elected councillors from councils across Cambridgeshire and two independent members.
Social media messages were behind the surprise resignation of police and crime commissioner (PCC) Jason Ablewhite as PPC.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) revealed that an investigation began after a member of the public came forward with screen shots of his posts.
The IOPC said: "Initial information indicates the former PCC exchanged a series of messages with the adult member of the public last month through social media.
"IOPC oversees the police complaints system and investigates the most serious incidents and complaints involving the police. All our work is done independently of the police, government and interest groups.
"The IOPC oversight of PCCs is outlined in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, which states that we can only investigate the conduct of a PCC if there is an indication that a criminal offence may have been committed."