MAYOR of South Yorkshire Oliver Coppard has been slammed by a local councillor after cancelling a recent meeting - stating his approach to policing is ‘more like dialling 101 than 999’.

Mr Coppard was re-elected as the South Yorkshire Mayor earlier this month, and part of his role now encompasses the Police and Crime Commissioner responsibilities.

He cancelled the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel, which was due to take place on June 10 - prompting Darton East councillor to slam the decision.

He said that Mr Coppard was a strong advocate for the merger of regional mayor and PCC responsibilities.

This was despite some criticism, with fears that this merger would mean PCC duties would be sidelined in favour of the mayoral role.

The purpose of the Police and Crime Panel, comprising of elected and Independent representatives from across South Yorkshire, is to scrutinise the PCC and hold him to account in his work on policing and crime.

Coun Hunt said: “This meeting delay was announced on the very day that we have heard that the government is asking the police to arrest less people to prevent prison overcrowding.

“Mr Coppard is avoiding having to answer questions on this and other urgent questions until July.

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“This is not exactly a call 999 approach to policing.

“Perhaps he would prefer questions about his approach to policing to be directed to 101, as it doesn’t seem to be an urgent priority for him.”

Coun Hunt said there are a number of issues in his Darton East ward - issues that may not be sorted for well over a month due to the cancellation.

“In the north of Barnsley, where my ward is located, residents are concerned about antisocial behaviour, burglary and boy racers,” he added.

“It is our role as elected politicians to be working together to support the police in tackling crime.

“But we now have to wait until July to get the chance to question the mayor on his priorities for policing in South Yorkshire.

“At the first opportunity the mayor has copped out of fighting crime.”