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‘Is that her from Eggheads?’

In a poll, only four per cent of people in Scarborough could identify who Mrs Mulligan was by looking at her picture

In a poll, only four per cent of people in Scarborough could identify who Mrs Mulligan was by looking at her picture

Just four per cent of Scarborough voters recognise crime tsar Julia Mulligan - with one person thinking she’s a boffin from TV quiz show Eggheads.

The town’s young and old both failed to put a name to the face of the £70k-a-year Police and Crime Commissioner, with another resident mistakenly claiming he’d seen her appear alongside Noel Edmonds on Deal or No Deal - despite admitting to voting for her.

And the vast majority of the public say they simply have no idea what the commissioner actually does.

In just over a year since she was elected against headlines of spoilt ballots and voter apathy, the former councillor has been condemned for splashing large sums of public cash on a new logo, as well as recruiting a shared £71k-a-year communications officer.

Now a public spending scrutiny group has blasted the commissioner - with her electorate claiming they want a more “visible” crime chief.

“It’s important they keep a watchful eye on police spending, not waste money on logo redesigns or overpaid comms staff, which in any case have done nothing to make her more recognisable to the residents,” said John O’Connell, Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

“The public will expect the newly-elected commissioners to hold the police to account in a less bureaucratic way that delivers taxpayers value for money,

“Police and Crime Commissioners should stop wasting taxpayers’ money on PR and image-building and instead get on with the jobs they were elected to do.”

The Scarborough News polled over 50 residents to see if they could recognise the commissioner, who recently told a packed Scarborough crime meeting that she wanted to meet her public more often.

One of those who’d like her to fulfil that pledge is Scarborough man Mike Drawneek, who was among the all but two people who failed to recognise the police chief.

“There never seems to be any posters around town saying that she’s going to be appearing in Scarborough to talk to the public,” he said.

“If she was to come I’d definitely want to talk to her, a lot of people would.”

However, Mrs Mulligan has staunchly defended her performance.

She claims she’s balancing the books in a county that is a “real challenge” to travel around, adding: “There is always more elected representatives can do to explain their role to members of the public, and I don’t shy away from that.

“It would have been interesting to see how many people could recognise their local councillor when shown a photo.”

And she said the TaxPayers’ Alliance “need to do their homework”, and that the heavily criticised recruitment of the new communication officer was ultimately funded directly by North Yorkshire Police.

“My office costs over £100,000 less than the old Police Authority, and we do much more,” said Mrs Mulligan.

“I have also shaved off over £850,000 from senior salaries across North Yorkshire Police and my office over the next three years, and over £350,000 per year thereafter.

“To suggest that is bad value for money is rather ridiculous, and I expect the residents of Scarborough know that.”

And she added; “One of the last events I held in Scarborough had about 60 people attend, and was a really worthwhile evening.

“Getting round the whole of North Yorkshire is a real challenge but I’m in Scarborough next month visiting the Barrowcliff Residents Association.

“I also have five public events scheduled in the Scarborough area up until the end of July, but this has to be balanced with the other seven districts in the county that I represent.”

 

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