Letter - New faces for police commissioner? No chance!

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Last year the coalition government announced the new role of Police and Crime Commissioner with the intention of bringing “new blood and fresh ideas”.

I was asked by a group of local people if I would be prepared to stand for the new role. After considerable thought I felt I could inject the “new blood and fresh thinking” and began to seriously consider the situation.

Months after the initial announcement and with very little information forthcoming from the Home Office, we were suddenly presented with a list of dos and don’ts that virtually ruled out any individual person from becoming a nominee.

The first obstacle is a £5,000 deposit, 10 times that required for an MP making it difficult for an individual to finance, yet this is easy for political parties or private business sponsors. I believe such sponsorship removes a candidate’s personal integrity, as they become beholden to the external influences of other private/political groups, which seemed at the outset to be the very reason the new role was introduced.

Secondly, unlike MPs, candidates will not receive a free postal service to every voter within the constituency, and such a cost to any private individual would add many tens of thousands of pounds to any campaign that is mounted, making it virtually impossible to stand as an independence candidate.

Thirdly, while I am confident that I could easily fulfil the requirement to produce 100 nominees I cannot understand why an MP requires only a minor number of nominees while the new role requires 100 signatures.

This whole procedure has been drafted by faceless people who had no communication with the general public whatsoever over this process, and has without doubt been drafted to prevent any new faces with new ideas or to encourage the new blood the procedure was supposed to introduce.

Unfortunately, the cost of standing as a candidate has prevented me from taking my aspirations further, therefore I would wish to thank all those people who pledged support, time and effort, providing I would stand as a totally independent candidate, uncompromised by any outside influences.

Yet again the public has been thwarted of new ideas from independent people by faceless and secretive public servants who wish to prevent any changes to the status quo.

Paul Dainton

President of Residents Against Toxic Scheme (RATS)