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Police and crime commissioner Sue Mountstevens accused of snubbing Wells

By Wells Journal  |  Posted: January 31, 2013

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The new police and crime commissioner has been accused of ignoring Wells.

Shortly after Sue Mountstevens was elected commissioner for Avon and Somerset Constabulary Wells City Council invited her to speak to them about her plans for policing in the area.

That was in November and the council have still not received a reply.

Instead, Ms Mountstevens has arranged to take part in a Beat Surgery, organised for her by Wells Police, at the town hall.

Taking place on February 11 members of the public will be able to queue to ask questions of the new commissioner.

The initial arrangements were that she would be there for one hour, between 10 and 11am, before heading down to South Somerset.

This will be the Mendip part of her consultation for the Police and Crime Plan.

At the last meeting of the city council the subject of Ms Mountstevens’ visit was raised.

There was initial confusion over the length of her visit and whether it was just for the people of Wells of if this was her consultation for the whole Mendip district.

When this had been cleared up by the town clerk Councillor Danny Unwin said: “You have to wonder how important we are.”

Councillor John Osman, who is also leader of Somerset County Council, said he had a four hour meeting scheduled with the commissioner and would be happy to ask any questions the council had or take another councillor with him.

Councillor Norman Kennedy said: “It’s a slight on the city and the area. A large number of people here bothered to turn out to vote and we are being ignored.

“It is good of Councillor Osman to do what he is doing but it is not sufficient.”

At this Mayor Maureen Brandon said: “Perhaps we can write again and say we appreciate what she is doing but that it is a public thing and we would like her to come and speak to us.”

This was met with agreement from the chamber.

Since the meeting the Journal has contacted Ms Mountstevens’ office and told them of the council’s concerns.

It has now been arranged that the commissioner will spend two hours at the town hall, from 9 to 11am with her staff available for longer.

A spokesperson for Ms Mountstevens said: “The timetable is pretty flexible. You just can’t be sure how busy it will be. If the town hall is quiet we can be out and about in the city centre.”

They also confirmed that they had received the letter from Wells council.

It was one of a large number of correspondence they had received but Ms Mountstevens would reply soon.

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