Staffordshire’s police, fire and crime commissioner is to stay on for an extra year after the election to appoint his successor was postponed.
Matthew Ellis was due to step down from the post this May.
But the Government has now announced that the election is being put back until May 2021 due to the coronavirus outbreak. All campaigning has been suspended.
It comes as home-working has also been enforced for a number of staff with Staffordshire Police.
A message on the commissioner’s website reads: “Due to the current situation regarding the coronavirus outbreak, many staff from the Staffordshire commissioner’s office will work from home to avoid unnecessary travel and limit face to face contact in line with Government advice.
“We’re sure you’ll understand the health and well-being of staff and everyone in the wider community is our main concern, but we want to reassure you that we’re still here and working on your behalf.”
The office is fully supporting both the police and fire services and giving all the help they can, according to their communications team.
Speaking to StokeonTrentLive, Mr Ellis said: “It’s not what I wanted. I had plans, but I’m not going to walk away. I’m going to do my duty at a time of national emergency and it’s the same for Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.
“It’s important that people are reassured. It’s important that the Government are throwing pretty much everything needed at this.
“It’s a short-term issue, albeit a major one, but we will come through this as a country as we always do. We need to listen to medical advice, follow it, look after each other and make sure that we get through this. The country will recover back to normal in due course.”
The Conservative candidate in the race for the top police and fire job, Staffordshire county councillor Ben Adams, said: “We are living through extraordinary times.
“Over the coming months, I know that all our public services will be focused on keeping us safe and we will all do what we can to support our family and communities.
“The capability and commitment of the Staffordshire Police and fire and rescue service are second to none and I urge everyone to support them and to follow Government advice during this challenging time. Life will return to normal and our local priorities and elections will occupy our thoughts once again but, for now, let’s come together to limit the impact of Covid-19.”
The Labour candidate, Newcastle borough councillor Tony Kearon, said: “Delaying the election was the right thing to do to allow emergency services and local government to focus on the coronavirus crisis.
“As ever, I am grateful to the police and emergency services for their hard work and commitment during these uncertain times. And thank you to the volunteers who are supporting communities and families across Staffordshire.
“Together we will beat this virus, then we can go back to the much needed conversation about extra funding for our police and fire service, more police officers in our communities and a safer Staffordshire for all.”
The police and crime commissioner election in Cheshire has also been postponed for a year.