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People urged to use their vote in upcoming police commissioner election
A COUNCIL boss is urging Knutsford residents not to lose their say in a massive change to how Cheshire Police operates.
David Parr, returning officer and chief executive of Halton Borough Council, is encouraging voters to go to the polls on November 15 to choose who their first Police and Crime Commissioner.
The person elected will take over from the Police Authority to represent the Cheshire community, provide a link between the public and police and be accountable for how crime is tackled.
When the plans were announced in 2010 Cheshire Police Authority said it feared the change would create ‘tension and conflict’ between the chief constable and the commissioner and ‘politicise policing’.
A spokesman for Halton Borough Council said the election will be on the same scale as a General or European election ,and the usual polling stations in Cheshire will be open.
The Guardian appealed to people to have their say on the changes, but only one reader got in touch.
A poll on our websites indicated many readers ‘do not care’ about the outcome of the election.
“It is pointless and a waste of time,” said Peter Rose, of Lynton Close.
“Generally people don’t want it, the area involved is too large and the people standing are not well known to voters.
“They have not had time and money to canvass, and the only ones that have have been backed by political parties.
“I do not want our police to be politicised. If nobody votes will it invalidate the election? Less than 10 per cent may create a new low in UK elections.”
A spokesman for Halton Borough Council said: “As always, we continue to encourage everyone to use their vote.”
Those standing for election in Cheshire are Ainsley Arnold (Lib Dem), John Dwyer (Con), John Stockton (Lab) Louise Bours (UKIP) and Sarah Flannery (independent).
To hear from Cheshire’s five candidates, read next week’s Guardian.