Money for nothing at the DPP

Kirsty Bell.
Kirsty Bell.

AN INDEPENDENT member of Newtownabbey District Policing Partnership has been paid around £2,000 of public money, despite not having attended a meeting since February, the Times can reveal.

The DPP’s latest attendance figures show that of the body’s 15 elected and independent members, one hasn’t attended a single meeting for the past 10 months.

Kirsty Bell, from Ballyclare, who hasn’t provided the DPP with an explanation for her non attendance, has still been receiving monthly payments of more than £200 (before tax).

Figures obtained by the Times reveal that a number of members have poor attendance records during the current financial year, but it is understood that all but Miss Bell have provided valid reasons for their non attendance.

A statement issued this week by Newtownabbey DPP confirms that members and officials have raised the matter with the Northern Ireland Policing Board (NIPB).

Mayor Billy Webb, a member of the DPP, said: “I do not wish to comment on any specific member, but would say that all members of the DPP receive a monthly payment and they are expected to partake in meetings, both by attending and contributing. Public money should not be paid if the duties are not being met.”

The Times made a number of attempts to contact Miss Bell, who was appointed to the DPP in 2008 at the age of 19, to discuss her non attendance at meetings this year, but without success.

Read the full story in this week’s Times...