How could Shaun Wright be so stupid?

Dear Rotherham Politics Readers,

Last week I asked a few questions of our South Yorkshire Police Authority in relation to the recent recruitment and interview of the Interim Chief Executive of South Yorkshire Police Authority. Attached in this e-mail is the prompt, transparent, and detailed response I have just received.

You may imagine my surprise and alarm when read that among the interview panel there is a rather familiar name to many Rotherham citizens – Cllr Shaun Wright (Vice-chair of South Yorkshire Police Authority).

Yes, that’s the same Shaun Wright who is Labour’s candidate for South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner. Surely he should have declared an interest in this appointment and withdrawn from the whole interview process? Well that’s my opinion.

No doubt you will form your own opinion after reading the info that SYPA freely and very willingly supplied. As far as I’m concerned I feel that any candidate for PCC should not be involved in any appointments to SYPA in order to ensure that there can be no accusations of undue process or cronyism and that the proceedings are as transparent as possible.

Kind Regards,
Donald H. Buxton

— On Tue, 2/10/12, Kaplan Leon <> wrote:

From: Kaplan Leon <>
Subject: South Yorkshire Police Authority
To: Don Buxton
Date: Tuesday, 2 October, 2012, 11:09

Ref: FOIA/595/LK

Dear  Mr Buxton

Thank you for your email of 1 October 2012 where you requested information about the interview for the post of Interim Chief Executive of South Yorkshire Police Authority. Your request has been dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

The information you requested is below.

1.    South Yorkshire Joint Secretariat operates a shared services model providing support to the South Yorkshire Joint Authorities (Fire, Police, Pensions and Transport.) Under the Police and Social Reform Act 2011, this arrangement will automatically transfer to the Police and Crime Commissioner in November.

The Chief Executive and Treasurer of the Police Authority was also Clerk & Treasurer of the other Joint Authorities. Under this legislation, a Commissioner must have a separate Chief Executive and Treasurer. The current Clerk and Treasurer of the Joint Authorities has assumed the role of Chief Financial Officer for the Commissioner.

The Interim Chief Executive has been designated from within the existing resources of South Yorkshire Joint Secretariat, which will allow the newly elected Commissioner to recruit his or her own Chief Executive at some point in the future.

Two internal candidates applied and both were interviewed.

2.    Members of the Authority’s Selection Committee conducted the interview: Charles Perryman JP (Chair), Cllr Shaun Wright (Vice-chair), Cllr Barbara Hoyle, Jill Bartop; Beryl Seaman CBE JP and Cllr Terry Sharman.  (Kash Walayat OBE sent apologies.)

Steve Pick, Clerk and Treasurer and Stephanie Barker, Head of Human Resources and Business Support at South Yorkshire Joint Secretariat, attended as advisors to the panel.

3.    The grading system used was for all senior appointments in the police service, which is based on Home Office recruitment guidance. Please see attached. Download pdfs below.

4.    A copy of the formal questions that the Interview Panel asked is attached. Members of the Selection Committee asked their own questions arising from the candidates’ responses.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original letter and should be addressed to: Maureen Oades, Deputy Chief Executive and Solicitor at or to the postal address below.

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF

Yours sincerely,

Leon Kaplan
Information Manager

Downloadable documents provided:
2012.02.10 – SYPA a
2012.02.10 – SYPA b
2012.02.10 – SYPA c
2012.02.10 – SYPA d
2012.02.10 – SYPA e

5 thoughts on “How could Shaun Wright be so stupid?

  1. Pingback: How could Shaun Wright be so stupid? | Police and Crime Commissioners |

  2. Well, that was mighty transparent of the Police Authority – admittedly something we’re not used to , but very welcome all the same.

    But shouldn’t this ‘honesty’ be reflected by all of the personnel within the Authority; er right up to the very top perhaps?


  3. I also understand that Cllr Shaun Wright was one of those responsible for setting the salary for the interim PCC Chief Executive. More importantly at the same time Cllr Wright was both employed by Barnsley Council and a member of SY Police Authority which is a direct conflict of interest and misuse of his role as the Interim PCC Chief Executive is also employed by Barnsley Council / SY Police Authority.


  4. It’s totally wrong for a candidate to be involved in selecting staff for the elected PCC, regardless of whether or not Shaun Wright wins. It’s a governance issue and, dare I mention again, an integrity issue. I’ve previously called for him to resign from the PA and he has ignored me. This, and other things we may yet be unaware of, is the result.
    I can’t say I’m surprised. I was standing when the PA announced the candidates Question Time event. I found out about it from Twitter. In Shaun Wright’s case, he had been consulted over the date and arrangements. They had “forgotten” to mention it to me, despite the fact I was at the time the only other candidate and had made myself known to the senior officials. Also, there was a general offer of a briefing by the former Chief Executive. I responded with dates the following week that I was in the area and could be available. Nobody responsed to my email until those dates had passed. My email had been overlooked.
    Accidentally or not, the Police Authority risk creating an impression of bias towards one candidate and/or party. Those standing against him need to be on their guard against further behaviour of this kind and the new Chief Executive needs to get a grip, regardless of who she thinks her boss will be in late November.


Leave your comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.