West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner election: Labour take control after vote goes to the wire

A POLICE authority chair has said he will oppose the “damaging policing cuts to our vital services” as he was elected police and crime commissioner for West Yorkshire.

Friday, 16th November 2012, 7:30 pm

Labour’s Mark Burns-Williamson won the post after going to second preference votes against independent candidate Cedric Christie.

He achieved a total of 114,736 votes to Mr Christie’s 71,876.

Voter turnout in West Yorkshire, which covers the areas of Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield, was 13.76%.

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Mr Burns-Williamson has been chair of the West Yorkshire Police Authority for nearly 10 years.

In a speech following his victory, he said: “The Labour Party did not support the creation of the police and crime commissioner.”

He said it was now up to himself and the other PCCs to “establish themselves and legitimise this post by listening to everyone who relies on their local police force and by working in partnership with the other organisations.”

Mr Burns-Williamson added: “I will stand up for everyone who lives in West Yorkshire.

“It’s up to all of us, I believe, to oppose the damaging policing cuts to our vital services.”

He continued: “They need to hear that message loud and clear that the public of West Yorkshire, and in fact I believe all of Yorkshire, have no support for this irresponsible slashing of the police service.”

He said it was necessary to prioritise, not privatise, “our police” in order to keep police officers and PCSOs out on the beat.

Mr Burns-Williamson said people had supported their local police today and shown their contempt for the Government’s actions.

Geraldine Carter, for the Conservative Party, and the Liberal Democrats’ Andrew Clive Glover Marchington were eliminated after the first count.

A total of 221,457 people voted in the West Yorkshire election, with 8,277 ballot papers rejected.

RESULT (* denotes elected candidate)

(First Count)

Mark Burns-Williamson (Lab) 102,817 (47.88%)

Cedric Christie (Ind) 49,299 (22.96%)

Geraldine Carter (C) 45,365 (21.13%)

Andrew Marchington (LD) 17,247 (8.03%)

(Second Count)

* Mark Burns-Williamson (Lab) 114,736

Cedric Christie (Ind) 71,876

Turnout 214,728 (13.34%)