The Liberal Democrat leader on Northamptonshire County Council has claimed that the outgoing police and crime commissioner will leave behind a “poorer police service”.
Adam Simmonds, the county’s police and crime commissioner, announced on Thursday that he would not be standing for re-election next May.
After winning the role in November 2012 when he stood as the Conservative candidate, Mr Simmonds has received criticism from his political opponents for the amount of money he has spent on his staff.
Councillor Brendan Glynane (Lib Dem, Delapre) said he was “delighted” by Mr Simmonds decision not to stand.
He said: “His term as Police and Crime Commissioner has been terrible, defined by empire building, jobs for his mates and cuts to proper policing – he leaves behind a poorer service than he took over, financially and otherwise. Good luck, goodbye, and good riddance.”
Danielle Stone, Labour leader on Northampton Borough Council and Police and Crime Panel member, has praised Mr Simmonds’ campaign against child sexual exploitation but remained critical of many of his other decisions.
Councillor Stone said: “I have been very critical of Adam Simmonds tenure as Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire. From the start he faced much criticism about appointing friends to top jobs and his office costing more than the old Police Authority.
“Gradually building up his staff, repeating his wish to merge with the Fire Service and his plans for Wootton Hall has sometimes smacked of empire building. This has happened whilst increasing the Police Precept on the council tax bill. I was particularly critical of the scrapping of the Hates Crime Unit.
“Nevertheless, it is not an easy job and clearly Adam Simmonds takes much pride in having increased the number of special constables. The recent campaign against child sexual exploitation has been praised. We have had our differences but I wish him well for the future.”
A Conservative Party spokesman said the new candidate to replace Mr Simmonds would be decided in the next few months.
The spokesman said: “We would like to thank Adam for his tenacious work as Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner over the last three years. Local party members will now begin the task of choosing a new and energetic Conservative candidate to contest May’s elections.”
Despite remaining opposed to the role of police and crime commissioners, the Labour party is expected to put a candidate up for the election in Northamptonshire.