DORSET’S council taxpayers will be heartened by the pledge from the county’s police and crime commissioner that he will only spend public money where it is justified.

This is a message they want to hear. Martyn Underhill’s announcement that he does not need and will not appoint a deputy is also music to the ears.

PCCs in other parts of the country have already stoked up controversy in the staffing of their office. Several have been accused of cronyism after appointing deputies on salaries of up to £65,000, without having to go through an appointments process.

It appears to be a shocking loophole when such a situation would not be tolerated or allowed in most other parts of the public sector. So far it seems that only three out of the 41 commissioners are formally adopting the ‘no deputy’ position.

On this key issue of public confidence, Commissioner Underhill has got off to a sure-footed start..