Warrington votes for its first police and crime commissioner

Warrington Guardian: Warrington votes for its first police and crime commissioner Warrington votes for its first police and crime commissioner

THE day the public votes on who they want as their first Police and Crime Commissioner is finally here.

Cheshire has five prospective candidates to choose from in the search for the publicly appointed figure. John Dwyer is standing for the Conservatives, John Stockton for the Labour Party, Ainsley Arnold for the Liberal Democrats, Louise Bours for UKIP and Sarah Flannery will be an independent candidate.

Whoever gains the most votes will start on the job next Thursday. Chief among their priorities will be setting police budgets and the level of funding directly from council tax payments and setting the agenda for how to address community concerns through Cheshire Police services.

They also hold the power to hire and fire the chief constable. The new role will replace Cheshire Police Authority, which was made up from councillors across the region, looking at the issues of the time.

Once in place the police and crime commissioner will also be expected to listen to the public and represent the voice of the victims of crime while also tackling rehabilitation of criminals by controlling police grants.

But it the appointment has not been without its controversy with opposers critical about the cost of an approximate six-figure salary for the police and crime commissioner and the cost of the election.

There is also concern a November poll will fail to draw out the voters with some suggesting a turnout of fewer than 20 per cent could be on the cards.

But Conservative minister Eric Pickles believes the new role, brought in by the Coalition Government, will help free up police to concentrate on tackling crime while giving public the chance to approve or object through the vote of how their service is being handled.

Mr Pickles said: “The public has somebody to contact, someone to press, to blame. “This is a job that requires talking to the community and it’s going to be John’s job delivering exactly what needs to be.” A Police and Crime Panel will also be set up - made up of councillors from Cheshire - who will hold the new police and crime commissioner to account.

 

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9:24am Thu 15 Nov 12

Nick Tessla says...

Warrington does not vote for its Police Commissioner - it is lumped in with people in all of the constituencies that are covered by the Cheshire Police area - this is not about giving people a local say in the running of the Police Force. Just the opposite.


It is just the opposite of localism and involves the concentration of power - bith in geographic terms and in that power being in one individual.


The running of this tory-ideology driven election, with ironically an AV voting system, by has been farcical. With an anticipated being somwere south of 20% it is possible that the winning cabdidate, who will have so much power given to them, will receive a first choice vote of less than 3% of the electorate.


There are some of Mr Pickles' tory colleagues who have argued that a strike ballot should be invalid if it does not have 50% + of the members in favour - not just a majority of those voting.


I would still urge people to vote - somone's going to win this ill-thought out contest no matter how many people boycott it or just can't be bothered.
Warrington does not vote for its Police Commissioner - it is lumped in with people in all of the constituencies that are covered by the Cheshire Police area - this is not about giving people a local say in the running of the Police Force. Just the opposite. It is just the opposite of localism and involves the concentration of power - bith in geographic terms and in that power being in one individual. The running of this tory-ideology driven election, with ironically an AV voting system, by has been farcical. With an anticipated being somwere south of 20% it is possible that the winning cabdidate, who will have so much power given to them, will receive a first choice vote of less than 3% of the electorate. There are some of Mr Pickles' tory colleagues who have argued that a strike ballot should be invalid if it does not have 50% + of the members in favour - not just a majority of those voting. I would still urge people to vote - somone's going to win this ill-thought out contest no matter how many people boycott it or just can't be bothered. Nick Tessla

9:46am Thu 15 Nov 12

old-codger says...

I couldnt have put it better myself,
I couldnt have put it better myself, old-codger

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