PCC Adam Simmonds could probably do with a rhinoceros hide right now. There’s a very vocal minority of people who have been heavily critical of his every move since he came to power a whole three weeks ago, especially the moves involving some of the staff joining his “sprawling” commission.
It was Aufona who broke the story about Conservative political assistant at County Hall, Stuart McCartney, moving to Wootton Hall and it was that appointment which tipped it for those carping from the sidelines about “cronyism” and why he needs a team of 17 people working for him.
The fact is, however, McCartney is the only Conservative Party member signed up so far and, as the #PCC made clear on Saturday’s interview in the hallowed 8.10am slot on Radio 4’s Today programme, he fully intends to go through the normal recruitment procedures to hire his team, a team that will NOT include a deputy.
He faced up some tricky questions from Jim Naughtie rather well, even if it might have proved a bit too early morning listening for those detractors hunched over their laptops into the early hours.
The staffing issue remains a hot potato though even if, as Aufona understands, the public might be surprised to find there are 20 people working under the so-called “corporate communications” umbrella at Wootton Hall, more people than now work in editorial on the Chron.
Still, Aufona continues to enjoy the rumours doing the rounds.
Firstly, for example, the claim that #PCC Simmonds was “throwing out all the memorabilia” from Wootton Hall because it was now all about the future and not the past. Er, no. The Plod are just having a spring clean.
And how we like this one: Apparently, @PCC is holed up in East House, which is next to the dog kennels at Wootton Hall (yes, the Plod’s gone to the dogs etc). But what of the delicious claim that Adam – possibly the UK’s biggest fan of TV’s West Wing – has his eye on a move to the West Wing of Wootton Hall? That’s what’s going round the police anyway. You couldn’t make it up.