Friends in low places?

It’s all gone very quiet over at the office of the SYPCC since Alan Billings was found to have acted unlawfully with respect to his dismissal of former Chief Constable David Crompton.  And the fact that Billings’ resignation has not been forthcoming in the wake of that judgement is a sickening reflection of the arrogance that pervades a political class that considers itself beyond challenge, and able to sidestep censure. But then Billings’ arrogance was already evident in his appointment of fellow tambourine banger Sionnedd Mair-Richards as his deputy last October. It would be interesting to learn what this sanctimonious creature has been doing to justify her generous sinecure since her appointment, but I digress.

Now, some will remember that smug Mair- Richards was Scrutiny and Member Development Officer with Rotherham Council between 2002 and 2011; a period that has some considerable overlap with the Jay and Casey Reports. And so it’s interesting that Billings took to the airwaves to discuss his choice of sidekick at the time. According to a tweet from his office on 26 October 2016, he discussed the appointment on ‘community station’ Iman FM. Fascinating I’m sure, but given the limited range of this station, and the rather specific nature of its service as described in the licensing documents below, one can only wonder why Dr Billings didn’t share his thoughts on the matter with the rest of South Yorkshire on BBC Radio Sheffield or Hallam FM, given their county wide coverage and rather broader appeal:

Now interestingly, the tweet from Billings’ office about Iman FM was retweeted by one Ibrar Hussain. And I gather there was some speculation as to whether this was the same Ibrar Hussain, who, again according to the twitter feed of Billings’ office, met with Billings himself on 25 October 2016 to talk taxis. And others were asking whether this was the same Ibrar Hussain who featured in an article in the Sheffield Star following an alleged rape inside a taxi in Sheffield city centre, suggesting that taxi drivers should be free to choose whether or not they installed CCTV in their vehicles?

There is, of course, nothing wrong in a Trade Union Rep speaking up for those they represent, especially when they have honed their advocacy skills as a Sheffield City Councillor. But the plot, and perhaps the plotters too, might be thicker than that, because earlier in 2016, Sheffield Town Hall was, allegedly, awash with gossip that a deal had been cut to enable Councillor Ibrar Hussain to move wards. The plot hinged on the deselection of another sitting councillor: Sionned Mair-Richards, no less, who was duly de-commissioned. Baldrick’s cunning plan didn’t completely work out as envisaged for former Councillor Hussain, but perhaps that’s by the by.

More interestingly though, Iman FM has been in the news in recent days, and, given that OFCOM has suggested that material broadcast is “likely to encourage or incite crime or lead to disorder”, it is not unreasonable to ask why South Yorkshire Police isn’t crawling all over this station as we speak.  Some cynics are wondering whether it might, just possibly, have anything to do with Iman FM having friends in low places, but I’m sure the rest of us couldn’t possibly comment.


7 thoughts on “Friends in low places?

  1. I share your contempt for this vicar but he wasn’t wrong to sack Crompton. Though he should have been sacked over CSE. If these PCCs don’t have the one power we were told they have what is the point of them? But sure sack the vicar too.


    • PCCs have every power they were promised, they just have to use them lawfully and with good reason. There were several ways he could have removed Crompton, but the references to support from local MPs shows us it was done to promote Labour rather than use his powers legitimately.


  2. Its interesting how these PCCs appoint their staff. I dont suppose this was flagged up or brought to anyones attention regarding her suitability? Is there not a panel of some sort fitted out to scrutinise this kind of carry on? If I’m not mistaken didnt the last PCC appoint his buddy ( a councillor) as deputy? Surely, given the circumstances, a different approach could have been taken?


  3. What a cess-pit of dirty politics is being revealed. Politics is controlling police, police oversight, the PCC, and all agencies in between. There is an organisation that boasts that it Leads Beyond Authority – Common Purpose. Oh yes – Sionned is CP, perfectly placed, as she was when Sonia Sharpe was transferred from RMBC to SCC. Any bets on the number of politicians or senior public servants who will be prosecuted over the CSE fiasco? – only bets under 1 accepted. The excellent article uses several words that can relate to political ethics or standards. During the above time, was S-M R associated with anyone, perhaps even maybe as a partner, who had a political position with oversight of local ethics and standards? For some, especially the elite, the law is an irrelevance.


  4. Pingback: The Week That Was – Last Weeks Top Ten 15th July 2017 | Rotherham Politics

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