Controversy as Labour Police & Crime Commissioner makes grant to organisation run by senior Labour activists

January 24, 2017 3:11 PM

News emerged this week that Derbyshire's Labour Police and Crime Commissioner had made a grant of £25,000 to an organisation run by two former Labour council candidates. This comes on top of a previous grant for £25,000 to the same organisation made by the previous Labour Police and Crime Commissioner.

A senior employee, former Labour candidate Oleg Sotnicenko, claims that this is a non-political grant. But, according to reports, Mr. Sotnicenko admits that his organisation has no current projects in Derby and only claims to have helped 12 individuals in the past. With commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa also being a Labour councillor for the neighbouring ward, the potential conflict of interest is clear.

Derby Liberal Democrats leader Cllr Ruth Skelton said "It seems from reports that this organisation simply refers a small number of people on to other services. £25,000 to do this seems rather expensive.

"We have seen no information on the previous grant's success nor whether the organisation met its targets. Neither have we seen what this organisation is planning to deliver for its grant funding this time, or what other projects might have been turned down to fund a project run by senior Labour members in the Commissioner's back yard.

"The whole grant and process to award it needs to be investigated by the auditors of the Office of the PCC. People must be able to have confidence in the impartiality of the Commissioner's work."