First-time vote for county cop supremo just a month away
AFTER the weather, crime and punishment is undoubtedly THE biggest single subject of passionate discussion the length and breadth of our nation.
An Englishman’s (and woman’s) home is still perceived as a castle – and one which is defended to the hilt of an imaginary sword.
Only this week at the Tory Party conference in Birmingham debate focused on what ‘degree of force’ is necessary to ensure your four walls are safeguarded from intruders.
In around 800 hours, the 1.2 million population of Staffordshire will have a new person to ‘take to task’ over being tough on crime and its causes.
For the first time ever, there will be elections for a Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) where local people will be able to hold an individual to account for policing their area and the rest of the county.
Supporters of this dramatic new policy – introduced under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act (2011) – say it will provide clear accountability and improve trust and confidence in policing.
The elected PCC will be directly accountable to the residents of Staffordshire – ranked the eighth largest non-metropolitan local authority administration in England and home to nine council areas and 12 members of parliament.
The title holder will develop a policing plan with local priorities and budget, as well as setting the amount of council tax people pay towards policing.
The PCC will not be in charge of day to day policing operations, but will set overall strategy and also have the power to appoint and dismiss the Chief Constable.
Staffordshire will be able to vote the PCC in, or out, of office at the ballot box every four years. The first poll is next month on Wednesday, November 15.
The Conservative candidate is social care reformer Matthew Ellis, county councillor and representative to more than 13,000 people in the Lichfield Rural East division.
Matthew, who launched his own business at 19 and sold his sports retail empire at the age of 36, has devoted the last decade to serving the community at parish, district and county council level.
His opponent for the Police and Crime Commissioner’s role is Stoke City Council member Joy Garner.