Police chief Tory hands 'friend' taxpayer-funded job

Staffordshire's new Deputy Police Fire and Crime Commissioner Dave Evans with Staffordshire Police Fire and Crime Commissioner Ben Adams
-Credit: (Image: Kerry Ashdown)

Staffordshire's new Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner has been formally appointed - and he will continue serving as a city councillor alongside his new role. Ben Adams, who was re-elected as Commissioner, revealed shortly afterwards that Dave Evans, a former cabinet member at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, was set to be his deputy.

Mr Evans, who had previously been part of the authority's former Conservative administration, was re-elected onto the city council last year to serve Baddeley, Milton and Norton. His appointment as Staffordshire's Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner has been confirmed at a meeting of the Police, Fire and Crime Panel.

Panel members quizzed Mr Evans on his approach to a variety of areas, including how he would engage with the county's ethnic minorities and rural communities. He was also asked what lessons he had learned from Staffordshire Police's time in special measures, which ended earlier this year, and told panel members of his background.

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He said: "I believe in a fundamental view of fairness as I see it, that everybody deserves the opportunity to make the most of their lot in life. That includes living in a safer place and being supported to do that.

"Four years of driving change across the children's social care system in Stoke-on-Trent taught me building coalitions of the willing, That's a skill set I think is absolutely needed in a deputy; I think it's really important to apply yourself and be able to work with partners to make the difference you want to make.

"Outside of politics I have worked for charities. I was a fundraising officer for a charity for some time and that was about building partnerships with philanthropic donors and businesses, making sure we we able to drive money into the charity to pay the bills and do the work we wanted to do."

Speaking after the meeting he said he would be continuing as a city councillor as well as being Deputy Commissioner. He added: "I'm really delighted this appointment has been confirmed by the panel - I think it is important to have that action.

"Community safety is a thing that matters a lot to me and that's what I want to bring as Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner. I look forward to working on that going forward."

Mr Adams paid tribute to his previous deputy, Helen Fisher as well as introducing Mr Evans. He said: "Helen was absolutely tremendous as a deputy in my previous term.

"She really got stuck into road safety and roads policing in particular, but also provided me with much-needed support and advice along the way. I wish her the best and it's a tough act to follow.

"Dave has been a friend of mine and a colleague in politics, but also in terms of advice, talking about issues that matter for several years. In my view Dave is, like the very best councillors, extremely close to his local residents and always listening to them.

"As such, he has the experience to not always think he knows the answer before he knows the question. In my view that's an important part of being a deputy and particularly in this role.

"You hear some difficult stuff along the journey with police and fire - some of the most awful things happen. Quite often you have to step back and wait to hear all the facts before you comment publicly or jump to a conclusion and I think he's got the patience and experience to do that.

"The key for me is someone who is not afraid to ask questions, provide a different perspective and challenge my view and also the thoughts of my team. In the first few weeks prior to this meeting he has already stepped up to this, which is greatly to his credit.

"His understanding of the north of Staffordshire is very helpful. I think between the two of us we probably know every corner of our enormous but beautiful county."

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