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Gloucestershire's Police and Crime Commissioner candidates get grilled

By GlosEchonews  |  Posted: October 30, 2012

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NEARLY 50 people gathered in Stroud last night to hear what Gloucestershire's potential Police and Crime Commissioner had to say.
The hustings, organised by Victim Support, saw all four candidates bidding for the role introduce themselves and answer questions from the public.
Victoria Atkins (Conservative), Alistair Cameron (Lib Dem), Rupi Dhanda (Labour) and Martin Surl (Independent) all tried to convince the audience to vote for them.
Issues from the Hillsborough disaster to the badger cull were put to those standing for the election.
Voters will go to the polls on November 15.
To hear more on what they had to say, see tomorrow's paper.

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  • buffersyeoman  |  November 02 2012, 5:16PM

    Bonkim2003...Please don,t associate me with username 123 because I live in the real world!. As for your comments I cannot understand your stupid statement either. What do you and all the others out there want. A person with knowledge and standing and who has lived a life or would you all like a person with NO knowledge of how police or local authorities work and who probably cannot even outline the county boundary, and that is an easy question. Let us get this system up and running first with someone who has the potential to achieve, we cannot allow our police force to sink any lower by being represented by fledgling politicians. What kind of worldly experience do these other candidates have, apart from the local councillor who has been on an ego trip ?, we have a solicitor and barrister of little standing and the general public have little knowledge of. Surprising how they all suddenly appear having the great interest in the Police service, I wonder what their career path and intentions were before the police commissioners role came along? Bearing in mind that this election will take place in some forty or so counties up and down the country, God only knows how this will determine law and order in this country because this is the only thing that the electorate should be concerned about. If the electorate intend to vote on the basis of cost then their votes will be futile. Although cost features in the big picture, it should not be of the greatest concern If I want a plumber I will not call an electrician!! If I want someone to oversee the policing of the county then I will call a man who will know what is what and will not need for someone to explain what the task in hand is. For goodness sake do not waste YOUR vote!!

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  • IsitJimKerr  |  November 01 2012, 2:27PM

    Ysedra................I don't know if I am a typical voter, but I hold Conservative values. However, the idea of a PCC was sold to us initially as an apolitical role. Therefore, as I beleive in true democracy, I was astounded to see that the three major parties had 'put up' candidates. This is totally outrageous, and is one of the few Cameron policies I disagree on. That being the case, I will most definitely be voting for MS.

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  • Ysedra  |  November 01 2012, 11:02AM

    Oops, I changed the first 'whether' to 'be', but didn't delete the 'is'...

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  • Ysedra  |  November 01 2012, 11:00AM

    My one concern is that Martin Surl, be it is the deliberate intention or not, will attract floating voters who might otherwise have gone to Labour, assuring a Conservative victory. To some extent it will happen, though, whether intentionally or otherwise. Ralph Nader had the same 'spoiler' effect in the 2000 US presidential election.

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  • safeandnice  |  November 01 2012, 1:01AM

    Agree about Martin Surl being the only non political candidate

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  • Ms_Superstar  |  November 01 2012, 12:29AM

    The PCC role is not essentially a party political role, or necessarily a soapbox for personally held opinions, but is open to anyone who is interested, is able to risk the £5,000 deposit and is able to fund an electoral campaign. This is borne out by Mr Surl standing as an independent candidate. I understand he is funding his campaign out of his pension, which,as a retired civil servant, will probably be more than adequate. The main political parties, being accustomed to running electoral campaigns and raising the necessary funds, will naturally be able to select a candidate for the role. The Liberal Democrats, in fact, did not join the race until several weeks after Labour, Conservative and two potential independent candidates had declared their interest (one potential candidate, Jeanne Berry, failed to submit her nomination for financial reasons, though she got the publicity she was after). Good luck to the remaining four candidates. I look forward to seeing how you get on, both in the election itself and, for the winning candidate, over the next four years in the post. Something needs to change, and I hope it will be for the better. Anyway, I've got four years to get my campaign together, just in case...

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  • Bonkim2003  |  November 01 2012, 12:20AM

    buffersyeoman and username - the danger is that an ex-Policeman would think he has an insider track on policing and tend to micro-manage. What you need is someone at arms length able to take in the bigger picture from the community perspective and also the statutory framework within which the Police function, and able to motivate all involved to work together, lead by negotiation and trying to see how best to meet the statutory functions and also feedback to the community and build up confidence at all levels, and at the same time, take responsibility when things go wrong, and support the force and be accountable for the delivery/outcomes.

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  • eyeopener  |  October 31 2012, 11:39PM

    I meant to say "If I vote for a Tory, I would prefer to do it by choice." and "When it comes to the Police this is even more true, who cannot have been aware of the '84 miners strike and Hillsborough?" One day I will manage to type successfully within the little window labelled "Add your comments."

  • eyeopener  |  October 31 2012, 11:34PM

    If we follow username123's suggestion and vote for a politician we will at last know what they are likely to do. Martin Surl claims to be independent, but independents have a history of being disaffected Torys. If vote for a Tory, I would prefer to do it by choice. Everything is political whether a cricket club builds a new pavilion or not is likely to have two camps within its management committee. When it comes to the Police this is even more true, who can not be aware of the '84 miners strike and Hillsborough? Who has not seen politics involved in the handling of the 2010 Student Fees demonstrations, 2011 riots, Occupy London and the St Pauls cathedral? Less dramatically politics sets our local police precept, the money we receive from Central Government, Selling of Police Stations to make local budgets stretch... even how one implements government directives. Martin Surl may have police experience, but politicians especially cabinet level politicians are expected to grasp and have a command of ministries they will have previously have had no experience of, and deliver results. Would we expect all ministers of defence to have been in the services before hand? When username123 said "Use your sense, vote for a politician", he didn't say vote for a politician he fancied. It was a genuine call to do the right thing.

  • username123  |  October 31 2012, 8:26PM

    Fortunately he was never a senior police officer in our local Force, lets hope he never gets seniority by default. AOBS

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