Just two days to go until the Police & Crime Commissioner elections. While most of us may think that the post and the expensive elections are a waste of time, we will nevertheless have a Police & Crime Commissioner on Friday morning. So we may as well make the best of it. Having listened and contributed to a number of the debates between the candidates I now have a clear idea of who will do the best job. In being an Independent, I have the luxury of being able to select any of the candidates, although, in my view Ken Maddock, the Conservative candidate, ruled himself out with his litany of failures as Leader of Somerset County Council. Had the Conservatives chosen a sensible candidate, they would have stood a much better chance of winning the election.
So, the most enthusiastic and experienced candidate is in my view Pete Levy, the Liberal Democrat. He was until recently a member of Avon & Somerset Police Authority and he has served as a police officer and Military Policeman. I believe that he will prioritise the Police to reflect the public’s wishes and will defend the service against further cuts.
A close second though is Sue Mountstevens, the only Independent candidate and she is also worthy of your vote. Her business experience together with her time as a Magistrate and member of the Police Authority also give her the experience that I think the role needs.
John Savage, for Labour, was a worthy and intelligent possibility but his heart isn’t in it; he appears to be ‘making up the numbers’.
Ken Maddock presided over massive, unnecessary cuts at Somerset County Council. His barmy plans were stopped by Government, in the case of his planned abandonment of Somerset’s highways maintenance obligations, and by the courts in the case of the unlawful libraries closure plan. He cut the Youth Service to the bone, sold off much-loved public forests, which even the Government backed away from. He also cut all Council funding for PCSOs, often the only policing that many communities get. He’s far too extreme and shouldn’t be allowed to get near the Police Service and wreak the same havoc there.
The election will be run using a form of proportional representation as follows: –
You can vote for a first and second choice of who you want to win.
The ballot paper will list all the candidates standing in your area. Next to the list of candidates there will be two columns.
You will be asked to:
- vote for your first-choice candidate by marking a cross (X) in the first-choice column, and
- vote for your second-choice candidate by marking a cross (X) in the second-choice column.
You can select only a first choice if you choose. I will be voting for Pete Levy and Sue Mountstevens as my first and second choices. If you want to ensure that we get a PCC who will defend our Police Service against further unwarranted cuts and will reflect the public’s priorities, then I recommend that you do the same.
Remember, if we don’t vote, we lose our whinging rights if we don’t like what we get!