Coronavirus pandemic forces cancellation of all local elections - and for acting police and crime commissioner for Cambridgeshire that’s a £71,400 bonus

Ray Bisby (right) who took over when Jason Ablewhite (left) was forced to stand down as police and c

Ray Bisby (right) who took over when Jason Ablewhite (left) was forced to stand down as police and crime commissioner will now stay on an extra year. . Picture: CONTRIBUTED. - Credit: Archant

The coronavirus pandemic has given an unexpected £71,400 bonus to the acting police and crime commissioner for Cambridgeshire.

Cllr Ray Bisby, the former deputy, only stepped up to the role last November when his boss, Jason Ablewhite, quit amidst a social media scandal.

Fresh elections due on May 7 have now been postponed for a year - along with all elections across the country - meaning Cllr Bisby will remain in his £71,400 a role for a further 12 months.

He had been unsuccessful in even getting onto the short list two weeks ago when the Conservatives met in Whittlesey to adopt a new prospective candidate.

But Downing Street has accepted the recommendation of the Electoral Commission to postpone elections for a year because of coronavirus.

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It means the Tory's choice of former detective Darryl Preston will not be tested until new elections are held in 2021.

Ironically Mr Preston previously worked as senior policy manager with the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, the body set up 23 years ago to provide information to crime commissioners on policing matters.

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He resigned to stand as a police and crime commissioner candidate himself. Previously he had been a police officer, having begun his career with the Met but also worked for many years for Cambridgeshire Police.

His CV speaks of 'extensive experience in public protection, including investigation of serious/complex child abuse including homicides, management of ex- offenders and dangerous persons and online investigation'.

He said: 'Having spent my life working in law enforcement, I know how important this job is. Police and crime commissioners are responsible for our local policing, they control multimillion-pound budgets, set our local priorities for tackling crime and can hire and fire chief constables.

'People who live and work in our cities, towns and villages want to see a well-resourced police service dealing with crime and anti-social behaviour.'

Cllr Risby, a Peterborough councillor, who also a policing background having been in the Royal Ulster Constabulary, will now enjoy an extra year until the new elections are called.

Although Fenland and East Cambridgeshire had no council elections for this May, Cambridge City and Peterborough did have some scheduled. They, too, have been put back a year.

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