Still confused over police commissioners

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From: David Downs, Mountbatten Avenue, Sandal, Wakefield.

WITH only a few days to go before we are expected to vote for police commissioners (Yorkshire Post, November 15), we have still heard very little as to what powers are to be granted to such elected commissioners, bearing in mind, as I understand it, that the same powers will not necessarily be the same in each police authority throughout the country.

It is total arrogance for the Government to expect the electorate to vote blind without telling us as to what the respective powers will be, other than the power to sack Chief Constables.

We could have the scenario where for example, we have a Conservative government, a Labour-controlled local council and a Lib Dem police commissioner; what a recipe for chaos. I assume that with the benefit of hindsight, after knowing the election results, the Government can grant powers depending on whether or not they hold a full house.

The only other bit of information the Government offers is that everyone will know the name of their chosen commissioner and who is to blame if things go wrong: what a laugh. I would suggest that the majority of the electorate do not even know the names of their council leader, MEP or even the name of their MP.

This is not democracy, it evidence that a new ruling class is developing in Parliament, made up of career politicians who have studied law, politics and economics, without any experience in life, commerce or business and who are totally out of touch with interests of the communities they are supposed to represent; their sole ambition to climb up the party political ladder and trying to find ways of maximising their parliamentary expenses.

I am undecided as to my best course of action; whether or not to vote or just spoil my return – can someone advise?

Drivers fail to watch speed

From: Tim Mickleburgh, Boulevard Avenue, Grimsby.

THOUGH there was opposition at the time, the introduction of tests for alcohol levels are today accepted by a vast majority of drivers. But do those same drivers take speeding as seriously?

The other night found me walking to a different bus stop, as my usual service was running late. Here I face an electronic speed sign, which tells people what speed they are travelling, and goes red if the limit is being exceeded.

Over a period of just 10 minutes I noted 16 cars going over the 30mph limit, of which five were travelling at 35mph or more. This was in an urban built area, which even I – a non-driver who has not really looked at the Highway Code since taking my cycling proficiency test 40 years ago – know has a default limit of 30mph. So it is not as if anyone can plead ignorance.

What’s more worrying is that had it not been for the sign, many wouldn’t have slowed down and an even greater number would have been travelling at illegal speeds. No doubt they thought they were safe, but let’s not forget that stopping distances are greater the faster someone is travelling. And that’s not rocket silence, but something else I recall from the Highway Code

Pattern of support

From: Ken Hartford, Durham Mews, Butt Lane, Beverley.

HAVING lived in nearly 20 different constituencies, I am a very seasoned voter and have rarely, if ever, been able to support the Government representative (ie the local MP). What this indicates very clearly is that I support a minority party. Now, is that an absurd thing to do or has the party I support gradually been strengthening its place?

I think there is very little doubt that within the next five years the party I support will certainly get back into Brighton, but will also be widely represented throughout the country. Not a dog’s chance? Maybe a fox’s chance of finding a meal? Or a tiger’s chance of having a reasonably long life or even a baby squirrel’s chance?

I don’t think the other parties need be too smug about their permanent fixture. I once lived in, and supported, Arsenal football team! And Spurs! But both these actions were in the late 40s and early 50s.

Devolution is only answer

From: Don Burslam, Dewsbury Moor, Dewsbury.

THE North-South divide has now gone beyond unfairness and bias to the scale of national scandal.

There is an inherent slant in the system because everything revolves round Whitehall and Westminster.

On top of this we have had the Jubilee and four weeks of the Olympics which is of little lasting benefit to us but we pay for it just the same. Lord Heseltine has the right idea asking for a bigger share of the national cake but the time has come for a drastic solution to the scandalous neglect.

While the Government is based in a narrow corner of the country, control will continue being exercised by a Metropolitan elite who think everything revolves round their tight little world.

The occasional crust thrown from the high table is all we can hope for under the existing system. Widespread and genuine devolution to our beleaguered regions should now be top of the agenda. If Scotland can vote for this, why can’t we?