The Conservative Group on Cornwall Council has today welcomed the failure of a motion of no confidence in Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez.
At yesterday’s Full Council meeting the motion of no confidence, brought forward by Labour Group leader Tim Dwelly, and backed by senior Liberal Democrats, was overwhelmingly defeated.
Commenting, Conservative Group Leader Phil Seeva said:
“I was delighted to see this motion defeated so heavily, and it was good to see support for our PCC from councillors of all parties, including Cornwall Council’s Cabinet.”
“The very fact that this debate and motion can even be called shows the value of PCCs – before this would not have been possible. Could anyone other than those directly involved name anyone who was on the previous Police Board? Whilst we think this motion is a waste of council time it does go to prove the point that PCCs are visible and democratically accountable which is the whole point of their role.”
Cllr Seeva continued “Our PCC Alison Hernandez is doing an excellent job. She is visible, accessible and responds whenever asked. Any criticism of her is purely politically motivated and shows no knowledge of the actual work she is doing.
“We should be building bridges with the PCC and it is shameful that certain councillors are risking damaging the positive relationship we have with her just to score cheap political points. They should be working in the best interests of the people of Cornwall first rather than this blatant politicking.”
Commenting, Deputy Group Leader of the Conservatives, James Mustoe said:
“The very wording of this motion shows an inherent mis-understanding from the tablers in the role of the PCC. One of the main criticisms expressed was one that is not ever the responsibility of the PCC, but instead an operation concern of the Chief Constable.”
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The motion was co-sponsored by Cllrs Jackie Bull and Malcolm Brown, both Clay Country Lib Dem councillors. Supporters had expected the vote to pass or be very close but on the day the motion was rounded upon by the council chamber, with most councillors calling it out as a blatant political motion aimed at a personality, saying that it was no business of the council and it should be left up to the electorate to get rid of her at the next PCC election. Councillors had to be warned against saying anything that might be considered a defamation of character before the debate began.
“As a Member of the St Austell and Mevagissey Community Network, it is particularly disappointing to see prominent St Austell Lib Dem Councillors put their name to this motion” said Mevagissey’s Cllr Mustoe. “From a local point of view PCC Hernandez has been incredibly supportive of St Austell and some of the challenges we have faced in the town in antisocial behaviour and crime. She has worked with our local MP and met with him several times since her election. She has visited St Austell numerous times to meet with local councillors and the Town Council, BID, Chamber of Commerce and has been out on the streets and knocking on doors to engage with the public and understand their concerns.”
“At a recent Antisocial Behaviour Summit many local organisations and indeed Independent Councillors praised the work of Alison and acknowledged how supportive she has been of the town. The two Lib Dem councillors in question did not attend this meeting.”
“It is great to see this motion fail and the Conservative Group now looks forward to getting on with serious business, continuing to build on our positive relations with our PCC for the good of the people of Cornwall.”