Regular readers will be aware that I’m not a fan of police and crime commissioners. I thought the introduction of elected, paid commissioners was a mistake at the time and I still believe that now.

So why do we have them? You have to go back to the 2010 general election campaign when the manifestos of both the Conservatives and Lib Dems outlined their own (different) plans to replace or reform the police authorities that existed at the time.

Following the election that saw the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition government come into being, the two parties agreed to “introduce measures to make the police more accountable through oversight by a directly elected individual, who will be subject to strict checks and balances by locally elected representatives” and police and crime commissioners came into existence.

The then Home Secretary Theresa May made the Policing Protocol Order in November 2011, which stated: “The establishment of PCCs has allowed for the Home Office to withdraw from day-to-day policing matters, giving the police greater freedom to fight crime as they see fit, and allowing local communities to hold the police to account.”

I have a number of issues with PCCs. In the first instance, it introduced a not inconsiderable cost that hadn’t previously existed. Some reports suggest running the office of PCC in Cheshire costs £1million a year. Of greater concern to me was the politicisation of a function that I believe shouldn’t be political at local level.

And I am not convinced that we have any greater ability to ‘hold the police to account’ than we had under the old system of police authorities.

So why, you may ask, am I mentioning Cheshire PCC now. Well the answer is Dan Price, the former Warrington councillor who has been chosen by Labour as its candidate for Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner job when the next election is held.

And it’s certainly an interesting choice by Labour.

Many of you may recall that Mr Price has a somewhat chequered history with the Labour Party in its pre-Starmer iteration. In fact the former Great Sankey North and Whittle Hall ward councillor resigned from the party in April 2019 and then stood for Change UK (against Labour candidates) in the European Elections.

He is still a sitting member of Great Sankey Parish Council, where he is currently vice-chair so it looks like Labour have slaughtered the fatted calf to herald the return of their prodigal son.

Back in the day, Mr Price was seldom out of the news when he was Warrington Council lead for culture.

He enthusiastically championed the plan (a somewhat ill-fated plan it has to be said) to build a 400-seat theatre in the Bath Street Drill Hall that the council summarily dropped.

And who could forget the (somewhat ill-fated and costly) plan for Warrington to bid for the 2021 City of Culture title.

The then Cllr Price, who chaired the bid team, said at the time: “We’re bidding for City of Culture because we are ambitious for Warrington – and why wouldn’t we be? Not only are we transitioning to become a New City (that went well, didn’t it?), but over the next few years we’re spending more than £100m improving the town centre and culture is fundamental to this transformation.”

Which leads me neatly to another of the ‘achievements’ of the Dan Price era, spending £664,000 on ‘public realm improvements’ to the town centre Cultural Quarter.

Yep, £664,000 on a bit of paving and some concrete cannon balls.

Nevertheless, I wish Mr Price all the best in his attempt to follow in the footsteps of a previous Warrington Labour PCC, Mr David Keane.

And we all know how that turned out.

On another subject, I’m the sort of person who reads the backs of packets and tins. You know the sort of thing, lists of ingredients, calorific value, where it’s manufactured, so I was both pleased and surprised when I spotted on the back of a packet Howdah spicy snacks that they are actually made in Lymm.

But what’s special about these snacks is that for every packet sold, the company donates a free school meal to a child in India. According to the Howdah website, the aim is to help children complete their education and to date, more than 1,000,000 have been donated which I find quite remarkable.

More power to their elbow.