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Candidates lining up for Sussex police commissioner role
10:04am Friday 20th April 2012 in News
Would-be police commissioners are to fight it out for the chance to represent the main political parties in elections in Sussex later this year.
Members of the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats are being asked to choose who they want to become candidates for the post of Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner.
Elections are due to take place up and down the country in November for the £85,000-a- year commissioners, who will have the power to hire and fire chief constables and set police priorities and budgets.
In total at least 21 people are already understood to be vying for the role, with at least 14 people applying for selection as Con- servative candidate.
He said: “Labour needs a credible candidate with experience of policing and Sussex, who can make a real difference.”
Paul Richards, a former parliamentary candidate for Lewes, has already declared he wants to stand for Labour.
A regional spokeswoman for the party said a shortlist would be drawn up and members balloted by post.
Of the Conservatives, Coun Peter Jones, leader of East Sussex County Council, and Coun Paul Dendle, of Arun District Council, who is also the party’s area chairman, have publicly declared themselves.
Sussex Police Authority’s Conservative chairman, Steve Waight, who sits on Worthing Borough Council and West Sus- sex County Council, has confirmed he is among the applicants.
Nicholas Soames, MP for Mid Sussex, is involved in drawing up a shortlist of candidates in May, before rounds of interviews and hustings in June and a ballot of party members in July.
The Liberal Democrats have invited members to come forward and are preparing to hold a ballot if the selection is contested.
It is understood the party is expecting to field a candidate in Sussex.
Brighton and Hove’s Green party met on Wednesday to discuss whether to put up a candidate for the elections. It is understood no decision has been made.
Street pastor and community activist Ian Chisnall has already announced he wants to stand as an independent candidate.
Anthony Kimber, a former military officer who has lived in Rye for ten years, has also declared he will stand, as has Matt Taylor, of Moulsecoomb, Brighton, of the one-man SOS Party, and another independent, Philip Jones.