THE embattled Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police yesterday survived a vote of no confidence in his position after councillors accused him of damaging public confidence in the force.

The motion was debated at the first full meeting of North Yorkshire County Council since it emerged that an investigation into a misconduct case involving Grahame Maxwell had cost the taxpayer £300,000.

Mr Maxwell, 50, admitted a charge of gross misconduct in May, following a lengthy investigation into claims he unfairly helped a relative to circumvent a force recruitment process. He was allowed to keep his job, but accepted a final written warning.

The motion, introduced by county councillor Geoffrey Webber, argued that the gross misconduct charge, Mr Maxwell’s failure to admit the charge earlier and the cost of the inquiry to the taxpayer, meant that he should lose the confidence of the council.

However, the motion was defeated by an overwhelming majority after councillors argued that the matter had already been dealt with and that it would not be fair to cast judgement on Mr Maxwell for a second time.

However, councillors who voted in favour of the motion said the public had lost confidence in Mr Maxwell, which might trickle down against rank and file officers.

Coun Webber, who represents Harrogate Bilton, said: “Mr Maxwell tried to avoid being held to account for his actions, at great cost to the taxpayer.

“There is great strength of feeling amongst the public that his actions have wasted public money that could have been better spent on policing across the county.”

However, Thirsk county councillor Gareth Dadd disputed that public confidence had been hit, using recent figures from North Yorkshire Police that show confidence in the force has risen from 57.9 per cent to 61.5 per cent in the past three months.

He added: “In my local community, people do not talk to me about Grahame Maxwell – they have other things to worry about. This council should not be wasting its time arguing about other organisations.

Would we issue a vote of no confidence in the chief executive of a district council or the fire authority?”

A force spokesman declined to comment.