Appointment of Deputy PCC for North Yorkshire

Neil Wilby made this Freedom of Information request to Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner,

You recently provided services to the North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (NYPCC) concerning the recruitment of a Deputy PCC.

Please provide the following information:

1. Copies of all documents concerned with the selection and appointment of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland (COPCC) as service provider to NYPCC.

2. Copies of any invoices raised from COPCC to NYPCC in connection with that provision of services.

3. a. Copies of recruitment advertisements placed, either digitally or in print form, concerning the post.
b. Cost of that advertising.

4. By way of other FOI requests it has been established that there were 16 applicants, of whom 4 were shorlisted. Can you please provide the following information concerning the shortlisted candidates:
a. Gender
b. Age range (i) under 25 (ii) 25 to 39 (iii) over 40
c. Type/class of degree held
d. Job title at time of making application
e. County of residence.

5. Only 2 of the shortlisted candidates were interviewed. What was/were the reason(s) given by the 2 candidates shortlisted who did not wish to proceed to be interviewed for the post?

6. It is also in the public domain that Will Naylor was one of the candidates interviewed. Were the other three candidates shortlisted made aware of Will's extant close working relationship with most of the other members of the interviewing panel: Julia Mulligan, Simon Dennis and Fraser Sampson? If so, verbally or in writing?

7. a. What steps were taken by COPCC to establish that the application of Will Naylor was lawful, given that he was already an employee of NYPCC and, as such, ineligible by way of Section 18 (6)(h) of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011.
b. If external advice/opinion was sought please provide name of solicitor/counsel.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby

Police & Crime Commissioner, Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner

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Dear Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner,

It has been brought to my attention that another freedom of information request has been made, via this website, on the topic of the appointment of Deputy PCC for North Yorkshire.

Accordingly, my request at 3(b) falls away as the answer of £900 has already been given.

A copy of the advertisement in Guardian jobs has also been obtained on my behalf:

Accordingly, my request at 3(a) also falls away.

I trust this is helpful in assisting in the provision of a prompt response to the remaining parts of my request.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby

BAGE, John (C6616), Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner

1 Attachment


Please find my response to your FOI request.


John Bage
Office Manager.

Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for Cleveland
Police Headquarters, Ladgate Lane, Middlesbrough TS8 9EH
Tel: 01642 301623    
[email address]


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Dear Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner's handling of my FOI request 'Appointment of Deputy PCC for North Yorkshire'.

The grounds for complaint are:

1. Section 10 of the Act states at (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), a public authority must comply with section 1(1) PROMPTLY and in any event not later than the twentieth working day following the date of receipt. This request placed no undue administrative or legal burden on the data controller and should have been finalised well before the afternoon of the twentieth working day.

2. You state in the preamble to your response that 'the majority of the information you have requested has been published by the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire' (NYPCC). That bald statement is, on it's face, palpably false. You are, therefore, required to either (i) highlight where in the published information the requested information can be located. Or (ii) withdraw the statement and (iii) explain why as a data controller you felt it necessary to mislead not only me, but the wider world to whom this finalisation is addressed.

3. At the response to Q1 your disclosure is counter intuitive and, as such, open to the interpretation that it may be incomplete, or untrue. Or both. The disclosure , so far, is to the extent that Simon Dennis (whilst acting as Chief Executive to NYPCC) made an informal offer (seemingly without consultation with Barry Coppinger) to Julia Mulligan concerning the diversion of precious resources of another policing body. The offer was to manage a recruitment process that has, subsequently, been widely published as 'independent'. The mythical man on the Clapham omnibus may well think that any notion of independence was, in these circumstances, difficult to countenance. The reviewer is, therefore, invited to reconcile the answer so far provided with what is already known to the wider world about the process and to take into account the article I have written on the subject in doing so:

4. At the response to Q2 your disclosure is, again, counter intuitive for, largely, the same reasons set out in the paragraph above. Undertaking work on a 'courtesy' and 'co-operation' basis does not sit well with the appearance of independence that has been propagated by NYPCC.

5. At the response to Q4 b no reasonable person, including the mythical man on the Clapham omnibus, could accept that job applications for a role such as Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner did not include either date of birth, or age.

6. At the response to Q4 d you have misdirected yourself in relying on a Section 40 (2) exemption. A job title, with no other means to make even jigsaw identification of the individual attached to that role possible, cannot, conceivably, be classed as personal information captured by that exemption.

7. At the response to Q7 a you have not addressed the request as framed. The information sought was disclosure of what steps were taken AT THE TIME OF THE APPLICATION, not at the point at which confirmation of the appointment was sought from the Police Scrutiny Panel. The published information, at the weblink you have utilised, tends to suggest that you were blissfully unaware of the potential prohibition on the appointment of Will Naylor by way of S18 (6) (h) of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act, 2011, until the issue was raised by Barry Khan at the confirmation hearing.

8. No identifiable response has been given to Q7b. Please clarify if 'no information held' extends to this part of the request.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:

Yours faithfully,

Neil Wilby

HODGSON, Stephen (C8620), Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner

Dear Mr Wilby,


Your application for review of the response ( 30^th November last)  to
your Freedom of Information application made to the Police and Crime
Commissioner for Cleveland and dated the 2^nd November last, has been
passed to me for consideration.


I am out of the office for the next three days but anticipate being in a
position to provide you with a determination in the course of next week.


I hope to write to you again soon.


Yours sincerely


Stephen Hodgson


Consultant Solicitor


OPCC Cleveland




Dear HODGSON, Stephen (C8620),

It is noted, with some alarm, that you are proposing to deal with the requested internal review.

I am reminded of our email correspondence between 22nd July and 2nd August, 2016 in which you provided uninvited, fanciful, and evidence-free assertions concerning non-compliance in a number of business areas of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire (NYPCC).

Secifically these were referred to at the time as:

1. Freedom of Information Act.

2. Data Protection Act, relating to data access requests.

3. Account and Audit Regulations

4. Elected Local Policing Bodies (Specified Information) Order, relating to Decision Notices.

5. Civil Procedure Rules

6. Digital, social media engagement.

It has since been established via a FOIA request that there is at least one more:

7. Delegation of appropriate authority

Incontrovertible documentary evidence exists to support each and every business area listed above, and in which NYPCC falls short of either statutory or ethical requirements. Your blank denial that such failings even exist is, in the circumstances, inexplicable and nothing short of extraordinary. Particularly, when you do not even work for NYPCC and, therefore, can presumably have no knowledge that would give substance to any of your assertions.

In this context, by way of an internal review dated 2nd August, 2016, NYPCC have refused to disclose "all communications, meeting notes, briefing notes involving Stephen Hodgson and any member of NYOPCC staff, or the Commissioner, on the subject of FOIA/DPA compliance" (see Question 6).

That particular matter is subject to a live complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office.

The instant information request and the internal review that has followed is concerned with what appears, on it's face, to be an artifice contrived by your own line manager, Simon Dennis, and NYPCC to circumvent lawful and ethical recruitment procedures. I have written and published two articles on the subject:


The fact that the finalisation of my request by Mr Bage opened with an outright lie does not add to either my own confidence, or that of the wider world reading this website, that this matter is being approached strictly in accordance with the Act, but rather more aligned to the widening cover-up over the flaws in the appointment of Will Naylor as Deputy PCC for North Yorkshire.

You will, therefore, appreciate my particular concerns over your own independence and, accordingly, most strongly request that you recuse yourself from this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Wilby
Investigative journalist

HODGSON, Stephen (C8620), Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner

Dear Mr Wilby,

I had indicated in my initial response to you that I would aim to provide you with a substantive determination of my review last week.

I then received your email of the 8th December, the contents of which have required some additional consideration.

However, I will be responding to you in the course of the next few days.

Yours sincerely

Stephen Hodgson


OPCC Cleveland

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HODGSON, Stephen (C8620), Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Wilby,


Please find attached my internal review of the complaints raised by you in
respect of the answers which you received from the Office for the Police
and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland to your Freedom Of Information
request dated the 30^th November last.


Yours sincerely


Stephen Hodgson




OPCC Cleveland