Commissioner Simmonds vows to appoint new team

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Police Commissioner Adam Simmonds has confirmed he is preparing to build a team of more than 10 people around him after making his first interim appointments.

Mr Simmonds, who has now completed his first week in the new job, said the role was impossible for one person to do alone.

He wants to surround himself with a team of experts and aides to take on the job of running Northamptonshire Police.

The new commissioner said the budget for the now abolished police authority was around £800,000-a-year and he said he hoped the cost of his new commission would be less than that figure.

However, he told the Chronicle & Echo he would be willing to increase the budget, should the job of the commissioner be expanded by the Government.

He said: “It is my expectation we will be within the police authority’s budget, but when you look at the Government’s agenda for this role, it could go up.

“This role was never about making things cheaper. It is about transparency and accountability and sometimes democracy costs a bit.”

He is due to advertise for permanent positions and publish details about how much each job earns as well as role descriptions in the coming days.

Mr Simmonds this week appointed two key allies from his recent election to his new commission. The interim appointments include Peter Heaton and Kathryn Buckle, who become assistant commissioners for engagement and governance, respectively.

Mr Heaton is a previous communications manager at Northamptonshire County Council, while Ms Buckle was most recenty an election agent for the Northamptonshire Conservative Party.

John Raisin, another former colleague of Mr Simmonds’ at County Hall, becomes interim assistant commissioner for resources, while Iain Britton also joins as assistant commissioner for justice.