A £35,000 review of the communications unit at North Yorkshire Police has been launched – with plans announced for the chief constable and commissioner to share press office staff.

North Yorkshire police and crime commissioner (PCC) Julia Mulligan claims the study and likely appointment of a joint head of communications, covering both the force and the PCC, will enhance the ‘‘efficiency and effectiveness’’ of the force.

However, elected members of the police and crime panel, whose job it is to oversee the work of the PCC, have expressed reservations about the plan amid concerns over the potential for conflicts of interest.

The review has been agreed by Chief Constable Dave Jones and the PCC.

Leeds-based consultants Finn Communications have been hired to conduct the study.

It will look at internal and external aspects of communications within North Yorkshire Police.

The estimated cost of £34,200 is being met by the force.

In a statement issued yesterday, the PCC and the chief constable said they believed having two separate communication teams would be unnecessarily expensive and therefore not in the interests of the public.