Maxwell move right, says MP

Scarborough MP Robert Goodwill  with Sir George Young helping launch Roberts Manifesto 101640a news
Scarborough MP Robert Goodwill with Sir George Young helping launch Roberts Manifesto 101640a news

SCARBOROUGH’S MP yesterday welcomed the decision not to renew chief constable Grahame Maxwell’s contract.

At a crunch meeting on Thursday evening, the North Yorkshire Police Authority decided to turn down Mr Maxwell’s request to extend his contract beyond next May.

The request came three months after the chief constable held on to his job after he admitted unfairly helping both a relative of former deputy chief constable Adam Briggs and a relative of his own to circumvent a recruitment process for new police officers.

Speaking to the Evening News yesterday, Mr Goodwill said: “I think it was the right decision. The story had become about Grahame Maxwell, rather than policing.

“The police authority have dealt with it very well. The decision will allow them to draw a line under this and let the force to move on.

“I have a lot of respect for Grahame and this aside, I think he has been a very good chief constable, but this has been such a distraction.”

Mr Goodwill said he has held regular meetings with members of the police authority over the issue, and met with Mr Maxwell two weeks ago to discuss policing issues.

He added that he believes the government’s plans for directly elected police commissioners will lead to more responsive and accountable policing.

In a statement, the North Yorkshire Police Authority, which is chaired by Scarborough councillor Jane Kenyon, said: “The Authority has every confidence that Chief Constable Maxwell will continue to lead North Yorkshire Police well until May next year when his current fixed term agreement expires.

“The detailed reasons for this decision and other matters relating to it are of a private and personal nature.”

Cllr Kenyon, who represents the Mayfield ward on Scarborough Council and also sits on North Yorkshire County Council, said yesterday that she had nothing to add to the statement issued by the police authority.

The North Yorkshire Police Federation said that they would continue to work with Mr Maxwell until his contract expires, but warned that the chief constable and his successor faced an “enormous challenge” in dealing with Government cuts.

The Federation added: “Our members are dedicated and professional police officers who will continue to work hard on behalf of the communities in North Yorkshire and the City of York.”

Mr Maxwell, who became a police officer in 1983, signed a five-year fixed term contract in 2007.

The chief constable resisted calls for his resignation following the nepotism row and was handed a final written warning by an independent disciplinary panel in May.

The inquiry into the misconduct claims against Mr Maxwell cost the taxpayer around £200,000.