THEY say a week is a long time in politics. If that’s true then a month must be the equivalent of an absolute lifetime.

Just ask our very own Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane.

I do apologise for bringing up the subject of Commissioner Keane again but he’s just so hard to ignore these days.

Not for the first time I feel obliged to confess I have met Cllr Keane on a couple of occasions. He won’t remember me but I remember him.

He was perfectly charming when I had my little chats with him and I am sure he is a very good local councillor. But he is a man with a lot of weight on his shoulders.

As well as being a Warrington borough and Penketh parish councillor, his job as PCC brings a whole load of problems to be solved.

Not only has he got to try to balance the constabulary budget in these times of austerity, he’s had to go cap in hand to the council taxpayers of Cheshire to ask for more money and he’s also got the not insignificant issue of the chief constable being suspended after being accused of gross misconduct.

Then you can add the apparently fractious relationship he has with the Cheshire Police and Crime Panel. Let’s just have a quick look at that panel, shall we?

Its function is to ‘maintain a regular check and balance on the performance of the commissioner’. It is made up of 10 councillors from across the county, plus three co-opted independent members and it does have a certain degree of power.

It can, for example, veto the commissioner’s choice of chief constable and it can also veto the proposed council tax precept.

It’s probably fair to say the relationship between Cllr Keane and the panel hasn’t been a particularly happy one.

Take the confirmation hearing for the commissioner’s candidate for the position of deputy PCC. That ended with chairman Cllr Howard Murray saying candidate Cllr Sareda Dirir only met ‘the minimum standard required’.

Or how about the confirmation hearing for the position of chief of staff. Cllr Murray and his panel came to the conclusion they ‘could not support the appointment’. (He still got the job.) Which brings us to the latest skirmish over the suspended chief constable Simon Byrne.

Members of the panel wanted to know what stage they were up to with the disciplinary procedure.

Cllr Keane declined to answer, saying he had been given legal advice by a barrister and needed to protect the integrity of the process.

That wasn’t good enough for the panel, however, who pushed him to either tell them in secret or at least give some indication of the legal advice he’d been given.

He again declined. To be honest, I felt a bit sorry for him.

As a fan of American crime dramas, you sometimes hear the phrase ‘asked and answered’ in courtrooms. I would have cheered if the commissioner had given that response.

Fast forward a month and those members of the Cheshire Police and Crime Panel have got their answer.

If you have a quick look at the PCC website, there in all its glory is a complete list of the allegations being levelled at our suspended chief constable – all 21 pages. It’s certainly not secret any more.

And neither is the disciplinary hearing. It is to be held in public at Warrington Town Hall. It should make fascinating viewing.