New police commissioner to be decided by public vote
Last updated at 12:02, Thursday, 01 November 2012
COPELAND residents will next month have the chance to take part in an historic vote to shape the future of policing in the area.
On Thursday, November 15, residents will vote to elect a police and crime commissioner (PCC) for Cumbria.
The PCC’s role replaces that of Cumbria Police Authority and will act as the public’s voice on how policing is undertaken in Cumbria. The successful candidate will also be responsible for setting the police force’s budget and deciding what its priorities and strategy should be.
Nominations have now closed and the candidates are:
Pru Jupe (Liberal Democrat), a Milnthorpe-based lawyer
Patrick Leonard (Labour), a director of Riverside Housing Association, of Cockermouth
Richard Rhodes (Conservative), a retired headteacher
Mary Robinson (Independent), the deputy leader of Eden Council
The successful candidate will be in post until May 2016.
Stuart Edwards, chief executive, Cumbria Police Authority, said: “I would ask people to mark on their calendars November 15 so that we get a good turn out from our communities.
“The election of a PCC is the biggest change to the policing landscape for many years. The PCC will have greater responsibilities and a wider role than the existing Police Authority. By voting the people of Cumbria can influence the future policing in the county and their community.”
On a national level, the election has been criticised by Lord Ian Blair, the former head of the Metropolitan Police, who has urged people not to vote amid claims that some police areas are too large for the public to engage with him.
Lord Blair has, in turn, been criticised by Chris Grayling, the justice secretary, who says that it is “inappropriate” for a former senior police chief to urge people not to exert their democratic right to vote.
Not only is the role of the PCC new, the voting system will be different too. The PCC elections will use the supplementary vote system in which voters will be asked to select their first and second preferences using two columns on the ballot paper. If no candidate gains over 50 per cent of the first preference votes, the two top candidates from the first preference votes go forward to a second round when the second preference votes are counted.
Those eligible to vote will receive a poll card at the address where they are registered to vote. This will provide information as to where and how they can vote.
Applications for new proxy votes must be received by 5pm on November 7.
The addresses is Electoral Registration Officer, The Copeland Centre, Catherine Street, Whitehaven, Cumbria, CA28 7SJ.
- See next week's Whitehaven News for profiles and interviews with all the candidates.
First published at 11:11, Thursday, 25 October 2012
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk
Have your say
Is introducing a politician and therefore layer of bureaucracy into the police a good idea? Would the money not be better spent on more officers walking the beat? Agree with realworldguy. What a waste of time and money, especially in a time of austerity.
What a joke this is, i don't know anybody that is bothered or going to vote. What a complete was of money
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