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Blackpool politician lined up for senior police job that was axed four years ago to save cash

Lancashire's police and crime commissioner Clive Grunshaw sitting next to his soon-to-be deputy Chris Webb
Lancashire's police and crime commissioner Clive Grunshaw sitting next to his soon-to-be deputy Chris Webb

Police and crime commissioner Clive Grunshaw has chosen Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, Chris Webb, as his new second in command.

Mr Webb, a former councillor in Wythenshawe, Manchester, works as UK head of office for Wajid Khan MEP, who he also represents in the UK at meetings during his work overseas in Brussels.

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In November 2014, Mr Grunshaw, who earns £85,000 a year, scrapped the jobs of his deputy and three assistant commissioners to save £100,000 a year.

When he revealed his plan to reintroduce the role, Blackburn Labour MP Kate Hollern condemned the move and urged him to think again and spend the money on front-line policing. But

Mr Webb’s proposed appointment will now go before the police and crime panel when it meets at County Hall in Preston on Thursday.

A report to panel members said: “Through his roles, especially as a councillor, Mr Webb has worked closely with many agencies to resolve issues facing his constituents.

“He has attended numerous briefings on policing issues and the challenges they face under cuts to funding and new reforms. His considerable experience of work with local communities will be advantageous in supporting the Commissioner in his commitment to wide-ranging engagement with the public, communities and partners across the county.

The DPCC will earn £25,750 a year, working three days a week. Mr Webb said: “Through my roles, especially as a councillor, I’ve worked closely with police officers where I regularly held meetings to discuss issues facing my constituents.”

Mr Grunshaw has previously said his role has changed in recent years and the new role will help support his “growing portfolio of work”.