Divided views on eve of new Sussex police chief election

Brighton and Hove City Councillor Graham Cox

Brighton and Hove City Councillor Ben Duncan

First published in News by

Oneof Sussex’s top retired policemen has claimed the former system of scrutinising officers did not listen to the public.

The county will go to the polls on Thursday, November 15, when more than a million people are eligible to elect the county’s first ever Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

The individual, who will be on an annual salary of £85,000, will be responsible for overseeing the chief constable’s work and holding Sussex Police to account.

Some claim the new system, which will replace a police authority made up of elected politicians and lay members from across the county, is more democratic and accountable.

But others claim it is not needed and a waste of money at a time of Government cuts to the force.

Former chief superintendent and head of Sussex CID Graham Cox said: “I have seen at close hand the shortcomings of the police authority which tended to represent the police force to the public rather than the other way round.

“I think a directly-elected individual is a real step forward as there has been a tendency for senior police officers to tell the public what policing they should have rather than listening to them.”

Mr Cox, who is now a Conservative councillor on Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “I’m a bit surprised that people I thought were democrats are against the PCCs.”

But Green councillor Ben Duncan, who is a serving member of Sussex Police Authority, said his experience of the body was the “complete opposite” of Coun Cox.

Election costs

Coun Duncan, who also sits on Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “I do not think there is such a great concern over police accountability for these elections to be held.

“The cost of holding them is around £1 million and I think that’s better spent on actual policing.

“I hope that I’m wrong but I think it’s clear that we’re going to see policing get worse as a result of this election.”

The comments come as some people have expressed concerns about the wording on the voting slip.

The supplementary vote system used means voters will be able, but not compelled, to vote for a first and second choice candidate.

But Neil Kelly, of Tredcroft Road, Hove, said: “I was not aware this was a beauty parade – I had thought we had one vote and were voting for one person.

“I believe the form is misleading. I suspect that a lot of people are likely to be confused and will think they have to vote twice for fear of having a single vote discounted.”

Find out more about the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner candidates and previous stories about the election at www.theargus.co.uk/news/special/policecommissioner

Fact file

The Police and Crime Commissioners elected on Thursday, November 15 will serve for three and a half years.
Voters can mark off first and second-choice candidates on their ballot paper.

However, as long as one cross is marked in the first-choice column, the vote will be counted.
The candidates in the running for the Sussex PCC are:

Tony Armstrong – UKIP
Katy Bourne – Conservative
Ian Chisnall – Independent
Godfrey Daniel – Labour
David Rogers – Liberal Democrat

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Comments (12)

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12:45pm Mon 12 Nov 12

Chieftain11 says...

"The individual, who will be on an annual salary of £85,000,"

No mention of the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner's salary of £40, 000 or their combined pension costs.

I believe this appointment is just 'jobs for the boys' as there is no mention how the Deputy PCC is to be appointed.

It's worth noting, in the absence of the PCC, full powers can be transferred to the DPCC. It's my guess the DPCC will be chosen by the political parties who put up the £5,000 deposit.

I will be having nothing whatsoever to do with this political fix.
"The individual, who will be on an annual salary of £85,000," No mention of the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner's salary of £40, 000 or their combined pension costs. I believe this appointment is just 'jobs for the boys' as there is no mention how the Deputy PCC is to be appointed. It's worth noting, in the absence of the PCC, full powers can be transferred to the DPCC. It's my guess the DPCC will be chosen by the political parties who put up the £5,000 deposit. I will be having nothing whatsoever to do with this political fix. Chieftain11
  • Score: 0

12:48pm Mon 12 Nov 12

Martha Gunn says...

Opinions from Graham Cox and Ben Duncan. Now which one would you tend to believe?
Opinions from Graham Cox and Ben Duncan. Now which one would you tend to believe? Martha Gunn
  • Score: 0

1:55pm Mon 12 Nov 12

Will's blog says...

Both are politicians so where is the difference? If anyone wants to complain against the Police do it via your MP. Kemptown's Simon Kirby is the best for getting things done.
We don't need anybody else.
Both are politicians so where is the difference? If anyone wants to complain against the Police do it via your MP. Kemptown's Simon Kirby is the best for getting things done. We don't need anybody else. Will's blog
  • Score: 0

1:59pm Mon 12 Nov 12

AmboGuy says...

Please make sure you do go to the ballot and write "NONE OF THE ABOVE" on your paper. This will be officially recorded as that instead of just a spoiled paper.
Please make sure you do go to the ballot and write "NONE OF THE ABOVE" on your paper. This will be officially recorded as that instead of just a spoiled paper. AmboGuy
  • Score: 0

2:07pm Mon 12 Nov 12

Andy R says...

AmboGuy wrote:
Please make sure you do go to the ballot and write "NONE OF THE ABOVE" on your paper. This will be officially recorded as that instead of just a spoiled paper.
Er....no it won't.

No valid vote will have been cast for a candidate, so it will be a spoiled ballot paper.

Fine, if that's what you want to do but don't let knownothings mis-advise you.
[quote][p][bold]AmboGuy[/bold] wrote: Please make sure you do go to the ballot and write "NONE OF THE ABOVE" on your paper. This will be officially recorded as that instead of just a spoiled paper.[/p][/quote]Er....no it won't. No valid vote will have been cast for a candidate, so it will be a spoiled ballot paper. Fine, if that's what you want to do but don't let knownothings mis-advise you. Andy R
  • Score: 0

2:07pm Mon 12 Nov 12

Metro Reader says...

I do not agree with this but I will be voting, in an attempt to STOP labour, ConDems or green getting hold of the police.

The police should be totally free of political influence, by not voting we run the real risk that one of the main parties will be in charge.

I will be voting UKIP, the only reason is that this chap has paid the deposit out of his own pocket.
I do not agree with this but I will be voting, in an attempt to STOP labour, ConDems or green getting hold of the police. The police should be totally free of political influence, by not voting we run the real risk that one of the main parties will be in charge. I will be voting UKIP, the only reason is that this chap has paid the deposit out of his own pocket. Metro Reader
  • Score: 0

2:09pm Mon 12 Nov 12

Andy R says...

Metro Reader wrote:
I do not agree with this but I will be voting, in an attempt to STOP labour, ConDems or green getting hold of the police. The police should be totally free of political influence, by not voting we run the real risk that one of the main parties will be in charge. I will be voting UKIP, the only reason is that this chap has paid the deposit out of his own pocket.
You want UKIP running the police??
[quote][p][bold]Metro Reader[/bold] wrote: I do not agree with this but I will be voting, in an attempt to STOP labour, ConDems or green getting hold of the police. The police should be totally free of political influence, by not voting we run the real risk that one of the main parties will be in charge. I will be voting UKIP, the only reason is that this chap has paid the deposit out of his own pocket.[/p][/quote]You want UKIP running the police?? Andy R
  • Score: 0

2:42pm Mon 12 Nov 12

Sarah Booker Lewis says...

Andy R is correct. It doesn't matter what you write on your spoiled paper, it just counts as a spoil, although they will be read out to the candidates once the count is complete.
Andy R is correct. It doesn't matter what you write on your spoiled paper, it just counts as a spoil, although they will be read out to the candidates once the count is complete. Sarah Booker Lewis
  • Score: 0

8:04pm Mon 12 Nov 12

AmboGuy says...

Sarah Booker Lewis wrote:
Andy R is correct. It doesn't matter what you write on your spoiled paper, it just counts as a spoil, although they will be read out to the candidates once the count is complete.
That's what I meant, it will get read out as that and the point will be made that you do not agree with this ballot. Unfortunately knownothings like AndyR will try and tell you otherwise. Being a union man he may well have his own agenda for these elections though.
[quote][p][bold]Sarah Booker Lewis[/bold] wrote: Andy R is correct. It doesn't matter what you write on your spoiled paper, it just counts as a spoil, although they will be read out to the candidates once the count is complete.[/p][/quote]That's what I meant, it will get read out as that and the point will be made that you do not agree with this ballot. Unfortunately knownothings like AndyR will try and tell you otherwise. Being a union man he may well have his own agenda for these elections though. AmboGuy
  • Score: 0

10:56pm Mon 12 Nov 12

Idontbelieveit1948 says...

Councillor Duncan said, amongst other things, “I hope that I’m wrong"

Let me reassure you Ben old chap, you are, you definitely are.
Councillor Duncan said, amongst other things, “I hope that I’m wrong" Let me reassure you Ben old chap, you are, you definitely are. Idontbelieveit1948
  • Score: 0

11:11am Wed 14 Nov 12

Andy R says...

AmboGuy wrote:
Sarah Booker Lewis wrote: Andy R is correct. It doesn't matter what you write on your spoiled paper, it just counts as a spoil, although they will be read out to the candidates once the count is complete.
That's what I meant, it will get read out as that and the point will be made that you do not agree with this ballot. Unfortunately knownothings like AndyR will try and tell you otherwise. Being a union man he may well have his own agenda for these elections though.
You're telling people that "none of the above" will be "officially recorded" separately from spoiled papers generally. This is absolute tosh, and you know it.
[quote][p][bold]AmboGuy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sarah Booker Lewis[/bold] wrote: Andy R is correct. It doesn't matter what you write on your spoiled paper, it just counts as a spoil, although they will be read out to the candidates once the count is complete.[/p][/quote]That's what I meant, it will get read out as that and the point will be made that you do not agree with this ballot. Unfortunately knownothings like AndyR will try and tell you otherwise. Being a union man he may well have his own agenda for these elections though.[/p][/quote]You're telling people that "none of the above" will be "officially recorded" separately from spoiled papers generally. This is absolute tosh, and you know it. Andy R
  • Score: 0

4:18pm Wed 14 Nov 12

AmboGuy says...

Andy R wrote:
AmboGuy wrote:
Sarah Booker Lewis wrote: Andy R is correct. It doesn't matter what you write on your spoiled paper, it just counts as a spoil, although they will be read out to the candidates once the count is complete.
That's what I meant, it will get read out as that and the point will be made that you do not agree with this ballot. Unfortunately knownothings like AndyR will try and tell you otherwise. Being a union man he may well have his own agenda for these elections though.
You're telling people that "none of the above" will be "officially recorded" separately from spoiled papers generally. This is absolute tosh, and you know it.
So who are you actively supporting then? I'm assuming as a union man who want the Labour candidate to win, do you deny this?
[quote][p][bold]Andy R[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]AmboGuy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Sarah Booker Lewis[/bold] wrote: Andy R is correct. It doesn't matter what you write on your spoiled paper, it just counts as a spoil, although they will be read out to the candidates once the count is complete.[/p][/quote]That's what I meant, it will get read out as that and the point will be made that you do not agree with this ballot. Unfortunately knownothings like AndyR will try and tell you otherwise. Being a union man he may well have his own agenda for these elections though.[/p][/quote]You're telling people that "none of the above" will be "officially recorded" separately from spoiled papers generally. This is absolute tosh, and you know it.[/p][/quote]So who are you actively supporting then? I'm assuming as a union man who want the Labour candidate to win, do you deny this? AmboGuy
  • Score: 0

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