DCSIMG

Is that her from Eggheads?

13th December 2012.
Feature on the new Police Commissioner for North Yorkshire Julia Mulligan.
Pictured Julie Mulligan at a meeting with Scarborough residents at Scarborough Library
Picture by Gerard Binks.

13th December 2012. Feature on the new Police Commissioner for North Yorkshire Julia Mulligan. Pictured Julie Mulligan at a meeting with Scarborough residents at Scarborough Library Picture by Gerard Binks.

Only four per cent of voters recognise crime tsar Julia Mulligan – with one person thinking she’s a boffin from TV quiz show Eggheads.

Young and old failed to put a name to the face of the £70,000-a-year county police chief, with another resident mistakenly claiming he’d seen her appear alongside Noel Edmonds on Deal or No Deal – despite admitting voting for her.

And the vast majority of the public say they simply have no idea what the commissioner actually does.

In just over a year since she was elected amidst headlines of spoilt ballots and voter apathy, the former councillor has been condemned for splashing large sums of public cash on a new logo, and recruiting a shared £71,000-a-year communications officer.

Now a public spending scrutiny group has blasted the commissioner, with her electorate claiming they want a more “visible” crime chief.

“It’s important they keep a watchful eye on police spending, not waste money on logo redesigns or overpaid comms staff, which in any case have done nothing to make her more recognisable to the residents,” said John O’Connell, Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

“The public will expect the newly-elected commissioners to hold the police to account in a less bureaucratic way that delivers taxpayers value for money,

“Police and Crime Commissioners should stop wasting taxpayers’ money on PR and image-building and instead get on with the jobs they were elected to do.”

More than 50 North Yorkshire residents were polled to see if they could recognise the commissioner, who recently told a packed Scarborough crime meeting that she wanted to meet her public more often.

However, Mrs Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, has staunchly defended her performance.

She claims she is balancing the books in a county that is a “real challenge” to travel around, adding: “There is always more elected representatives can do to explain their role to members of the public, and I don’t shy away from that.

“It would have been interesting to see how many people could recognise their local councillor when shown a photo.”

And she said the TaxPayers’ Alliance “need to do their homework”, and that the heavily criticised recruitment of the new communication officer was ultimately funded directly by North Yorkshire Police.

“My office costs over £100,000 less than the old Police Authority, and we do much more,” said Mrs Mulligan.

“I have also shaved off over £850,000 from senior salaries across North Yorkshire Police and my office over the next three years, and over £350,000 per year thereafter.

“To suggest that is bad value for money is rather ridiculous,” she said.

 

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