Wales politics

Councillor to switch to police commissioner deputy role

Arfon Jones and Ann Griffith
Image caption Arfon Jones (L) and Ann Griffith (R) are both Plaid Cymru councillors in north Wales

The north Wales police and crime commissioner's chosen deputy has said she will step down as a councillor to devote herself full time to the role.

Arfon Jones chose Plaid Cymru colleague Ann Griffith for the £42,000-a-year post without an advert, and the local advisory panel raised objections.

Some members were also concerned she would not promise to quit Anglesey council at the 2017 election.

Mr Jones said she had now given that commitment, and was the right choice.

Police and crime commissioners are entitled to appoint a deputy without the need to advertise the role, and the panel does not have the power to block the appointment.

The north Wales police and crime panel refused to back Ms Griffith's appointment at a meeting in July, with chair Julie Fallon saying there had been "concern about the lack of transparency we feel has occurred throughout this process".

Social worker Ms Griffith said despite the objections she had been "encouraged" by the "unwavering support" of the commissioner, the general public, and professionals in the field of criminal justice and social care.

"The panel was a disappointing experience but I have learnt lessons from it," she said.

"I have heeded the panel's advice and decided to stand down from my role as an Anglesey county councillor at the next election."

Ms Griffiths said she brings "over 30 years' of experience working at the sharp and strategic ends of social services, care for children and vulnerable adults".

"I believe I can make a positive and constructive contribution to the efforts of chief officers in making north Wales an even safer place for us all to live."

Mr Jones, a retired police inspector, has said he will stand down from his role as a Plaid Cymru councillor in Wrexham in 2017.

"I remain confident that Ann is more than qualified to fulfil this important role," he said.

"I am sure the panel will in time come to see the benefits of having her as my deputy and that she will serve with distinction and great commitment."

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