Undemocratic farce of police supremo vote

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From: Michael Iveson, Summerbridge, Harrogate.

Now that the predictably low turnout has occurred in the elections for the regional police commissioners, the electorate are being insulted by being accused of apathy. The low turnout was due to lack of information about candidates and their policies.

The authorities glibly advised electors to look up the relevant details on the internet. Fine if you are something of a magician, not so fine if, like many people, particularly the elderly, you do not have access to the internet. In other words, a large slice of the electorate was excluded from the process before it had begun, as information is the basis for voting intentions.

The whole thing became an undemocratic farce. Indeed I was obliged to agree with Yvette Cooper, of all people, that the vast sum of money involved could have been better spent on directly strengthening the police force on the ground.

For my own part, having been brought up by my parents to believe that I lived in a democracy and to vote at all elections, local and national, I finally decided to trundle along to the polling station and do my duty, having first taken the precaution of tossing a coin to decide which of the two North Yorkshire candidates I would support. Now that’s democracy in action.

From: A Stevenson, Leeds.

Do we live in a democracy or a police state?

The vote on political police commissioners was farcical as the result had already been decided by the Government and others.

In the recent election to decide whether the public wanted mayors the result in Yorkshire was decisive – No. But we had the choice and the ballot took place at the same time as the local elections, thus saving money.

On Thursday, with little information about candidates (and no choice to say no), we were expected to vote in a rigged election already decided at a vast cost to the public.

The police commissioner status itself is a further layer of costly bureaucracy at a time when the public is suffering financial hardship.

From: John Watson, Hutton Hill, Leyburn.

What a farce the election of police commissioners turned out to be. I, like many others, didn’t turn out to vote mainly because we were never told what a commissioner was supposed to do, and also because the candidates all appeared to have a party political label attached to them. It was not until after the election that we were at last told all sorts of things about the winner.

What has politics got to do with running a police force? Apparently the elected commissioners have the power to hire and fire and to make sure their local police force is run as efficiently as possible. They have also to adhere to the policies of the elected Government.

There could be a scenario where the chosen person with a Tory label was not as well qualified to fill this post as their Labour opponent but because they supported the Tory party they would be elected. And vice versa.

The whole exercise has made a mockery of the democratic way we do things in this country.

From: Coun James Alexander, Labour Leader of City of York Council.

I AM very proud Coun Ruth Potter achieved 58 per cent of the vote in York despite not being elected as police commissioner for North Yorkshire. She fought a very tough campaign over a vast area.

My congratulations to Commissioner Julia Mulligan on her election. I have written to her requesting an early meeting to begin working together across the political divide.

I will be discussing with Julia her plans to move North Yorkshire police HQ, how she will maintain police numbers with a 15 per cent reduction in Government funding to PCSOs and what she plans to do regarding the police funding element of council tax.

Although I question the mandate of commissioners with such a low electoral turnout, Julia must be given a chance. I do however believe it was wrong for the Government not to allow a free mail out like during a General Election and instead insist 300 words from each candidate on a website was enough for voters to make an informed decision.

From: Brian Ormondroyd, Brindley Court, Skipton.

So Mrs Mulligan from Elslack, North Yorkshire, has been “elected” police commissioner. Only one in 13 of those eligible voted for her.

Apparently a former councillor for our area, I have never seen this woman. I wonder how many others in Craven have?

These commissioners, given the joke of a vote, have no mandate. £100m wasted. And the ongoing cost of running this office?

We are constantly being told that Britain is bust yet millions, billions are wasted.

International companies owe billions in tax. Is this not a crime?

The police commissioner role is an insult to our hard-working police regardless of role or rank. I trust that Mrs Mulligan will resign.

From: David Davies, Burgess Road, Brigg.

There are smiles and a spring in people’s steps with the announcement of the results for the police commissioner elections for Humberside.

The higher than national average poll in this constituency is due entirely to the determined effort by voters to counter 
the automatic support John Prescott generated in Hull. There has not been so much rejoicing since Jessica Ennis won her gold medal.

From: C D Round, Lee lane East, Horsforth, Leeds.

It is usual after elections for the Press to publish a list of candidates with the number of votes cast for each candidate, both first and second choice, the majority and the number of spoilt papers.

Why has this not been done in the case of the police commissioner vote last week? Are the authorities too scared to show what a shambles it was?