Welcome Shona, the come back ‘kid’, as she vies for �70,000 a year Cambs police role

FOUR years ago she famously quit the leadership of Cambridgeshire County Council with her husband branding her colleagues “numbskulls”.

But today Shona Johnstone is poised to become the county’s first �70,000 a year commissioner of police.

Cllr Johnstone was described by husband Roderick as the Tories “most able leader for many years” but she left nonetheless following her intervention in the appointment of Mark Lloyd to become chief executive.

Her political renaissance complete, Cllr Johnstone, who joined Cambs Police Authority as a county council nominee the year she resigned as leader, is hot favourite to win the party’s nomination for November’s commissioner election.

Home Secretary Theresa May announced some of the election details- including salaries- this week and putting a pay package on offer that would dwarf those paid to council leaders.

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Cllr Johnstone’s self confessed “error of judgement” over the Mark Lloyd intervention has long been forgotten as the Tories look to draw up a short list of prospective commissioner candidate for the November 15 ballot.

Shona, whose home is in Over, is a county councillor for Willingham.

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As police commissioner she would have responsibility for cutting crime, setting the annual force budget, hiring – and possibly firing – the chief constable, and consulting with victims on policing priorities.

Ruth Rogers, chairman of the soon-to-be-decommissioned Cambridgeshire Police Authority said: “A low turnout is one of the real concerns. People have never voted on this before. Publicity now is really helpful and will hopefully encourage people to go out and vote.

“As an authority, we didn’t take a particular stance on it; we felt that there were some advantages and, possibly, some disadvantages as well. If you believe in democracy you can’t ignore that this person will be democratically elected.”

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