A COUNCILLOR called for a review of how community cops spend their time before splashing out £180,000 to fund them.

With Essex Police pulling the plug on match funding, Frinton and Walton Town Council announced its intention to fully fund at least four PCSOs to keep the area safe.

The council agreed in principle to pay for four, possibly rising to six if they are able to – a move which would cost £180,000.

But Walton councillor Delyth Miles asked for a review of the service provided before spending the cash to see if that number of officers is necessary.

She said: “I’m not convinced we need that many PCSOs to provide the quality of service we are getting and want to continue getting.

“If the evidence shows that I’m wrong then fine but I think it is very worthy of investigation before we spend £180,000 of taxpayers’ money.

“We need to do a study on where they spend their time to help us provide the right service and policing for our area."

But mayor Iris Johnson branded the suggestion of monitoring the PCSOs’ use of time “ridiculous” and said it was not the council's place to call for a study.