Suffolk/Essex: Time to vote for new police and crime commissioners
06:00 15 November 2012
Archant © 2012
VOTERS will go the polls today to elect the first police and crime commissioners for Suffolk and Essex.
Four candidates will be battling it out in Suffolk to win the people’s mandate for the new £70,000-a-year post. In Essex six candidates, including two independents, will go head-to-head.
Polling stations will be open from 7am-10pm with votes being counted on Friday.
The election will be run on a supplementary vote system, where people choose their first and second preference candidates.
The Suffolk candidates are:
n Jane Basham, former executive of the Ipswich and Suffolk Council of Racial Equality is representing Labour;
n David Cocks is standing as an independent candidate and has experience in media and health;
n Bill Mountford is the UKIP candidate and is campaigning for more police to be put on the beat;
n And Conservative candidate Tim Passmore is the current leader of Mid Suffolk District Council and former chief executive of Choose Suffolk.
Essex’s election will see six go up against each other:
n Former Royal Naval officer Nicholas Alston is the Conservative candidate and wants measures that will cut crime and improve communications between the police and the public;
n Linda Belgrove is an independent candidate and is a parish councillor and founder and chair of the Essex Retired Police Dogs Fund;
n Labour candidate Val Morris-Cook is general manager for a logistics firm and deputy leader of Thurrock Council;
n The UKIP candidate is Andrew Smith, who works as a freelance chartered accountant in commerce;
n Another independent candidate, Mick Thwaites, is a former Essex police officer and wants to see “more visible policing”;
n And Robin Tilbrook is the English Democrats’ candidate. He is their leader and chairman and works as a solicitor.
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has accused the Government of running a “shambolic” information campaign in the run-up to the first elections for police and crime commissioners.
Ms Cooper said people were saying they did not know anything about today’s polls for commissioners in 41 police areas in England and Wales.
“The Government, as well as choosing to have the elections in November when they could have waited until May, have simply not provided people with proper information,” she told ITV’s Daybreak.
But Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps said the commissioners would have a “really important” role and the Government had wanted to get the elections under way as quickly as possible.
“I think it is really important that people know a figurehead, a name of a person that they can turn to when they are concerned about crime and anti-social behaviour in their area.
“They want to know why the police are costing money on their council tax bill,” he said.