THE decision of an outspoken police, fire and crime commissioner to not stand for re-election has received a mixed reaction.

North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan announced through a press release that after facing “a very difficult time” she had decided to not contest for the £70,000 role in May next year.

The Conservative commissioner, whose county party members recently voted not to automatically readopt her as their candidate for the post, said: “I am passionate about public service, and in recent months have explained some of my reasons why. But, in seven years of being the elected commissioner, I have taken tough decisions which I firmly believe are the right ones, but which others clearly disagree with and we have seen the results of that in recent weeks.

“I know the role has been controversial, but we have moved to decisions being made in full view by someone who has been elected democratically to do just that. This opportunity is one I have embraced, and I have used every mechanism available to me to make a difference.

“A lot has been achieved, there is a lot more to do, I look forward to achieving as much of that as is possible before May 2020.”

Last month, Mrs Mulligan became the only commissioner in the country to have her proposed inflation-busting council tax demand vetoed by a police watchdog, which has also been critical of the manner in which she treated members of her staff.

Supporters of Mrs Mulligan have repeatedly claimed that she has been the subject of a concerted campaign to unseat her, while she has suggested some Conservatives in the county have issues with women in authority.

Controversial decisions undertaken by the commissioner during her seven years in the role have included her decision to move the police headquarters from a listed building at Newby Wiske to the former Rural Payments Agency base in Northallerton, where residents said it created car parking chaos.

Residents of South Kilvington, near Thirsk, had launched a campaign after Mrs Mulligan initially announced an intention to build a new headquarters in the village.

Residents of Newby Wiske, where Mrs Mulligan struck a deal with children’s holiday firm PGL to convert the former police force headquarters into an activity centre, said they feared a change in commissioner would come too late to stop their village being ruined.

Resident David Stockport said: “Not standing for re-election is probably the one good decision she has made during her time in the post.”

Perhaps her most contentious move was to take over the governance of the county’s fire service from a council-led fire authority.

Following Mrs Mulligan’s announcement, several leading councillors declined to comment.

After being told about Mrs Mulligan’s intention to step aside, Councillor Carl Les, chairman of North Yorkshire’s police and crime panel which has overseen Mrs Mulligan’s work, said: “It is an individual decision that candidates need to make depending on their own circumstances.”