Bat­tle lines drawn in bid for top po­lice job

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By STEPHEN BRIGGS stephen.briggs@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk @Et­stephenb

A FOR­MER Peter­bor­ough coun­cil­lor has vowed to bat­tle for a newly cre­ated £70,000-a-year job as the county’s po­lice boss.

Stephen Gold­spink, a mem­ber of the English Democrats, says he will con­test the elec­tion for the pow­er­ful post of Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sioner for Cam­bridgeshire that will take place on Novem­ber 15.

The new job has been cre­ated by the Gov­ern­ment as a way of en­sur­ing more ac­count­abil­ity of the po­lice to the public as the Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sioner will have to stand for re-elec­tion ev­ery four years.

De­tails of the nom­i­na­tion dead­line have not yet been an­nounced but it is thought the key date to be of­fi­cially ac­cepted as a can­di­date will be Oc­to­ber 31.

The suc­cess­ful can­di­date will re­place the ex­ist­ing po­lice au­thor­ity, which cur­rently gov­erns the county’s po­lice force, and will have sig­nif­i­cant pow­ers and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

The key pow­ers in­clude the abil­ity to hire and fire the chief con­sta­ble, set the po­lice bud­get and coun­cil tax pre­cept and es­tab­lish polic­ing pri­or­i­ties.

Mr Gold­spink said: “It is a huge job but I am not over­awed by the size of the task. Rather I am ex­cited by the chal­lenge.”

Mr Gold­spink, served as a Peter­bor­ough City coun­cil­lor for 10 years, was deputy leader of the coun­cil for five years be­fore stand­ing down at the lo­cal elec­tions ear­lier this month, and said his ex­pe­ri­ence would help him if elected.

He said: “In terms of ex­pe­ri­ence, I have worked in lo­cal gov­ern­ment as an em­ployee and as an in­terim man­ager, and have man­aged nu­mer­ous projects for a ma­jor po­lice force.”

For much of his ser­vice he was a mem­ber of the Con­ser­va­tive party, but left to join the English Democrats in 2009.

He said: “The role is not a po­lit­i­cal one but clearly vot­ers need to have some idea of what a can­di­date stands for. My num­ber one aim is to en­sure we im­prove public con­fi­dence in the po­lice, and that they pri­ori­tise those mat­ters that lo­cal peo­ple feel are im­por­tant.”

Vic­tor Lu­cas, vice-chair­man of Cam­bridgeshire Po­lice Au­thor­ity, said the new role was an im­por­tant one.

He said: “The po­lice au­thor­ity is work­ing with the Con­stab­u­lary and part­ner au­thor­i­ties to en­sure a smooth tran­si­tion to the new gov­er­nance ar­range­ments.”

The com­mis­sioner will serve a four year term, and a Po­lice and Crime Panel, made up of rep­re­sen­ta­tives from each of the city and dis­trict coun­cils and two in­de­pen­dent mem­bers, will also con­sider in public how the Com­mis­sioner de­liv­ers his or her func­tions.

A num­ber of other peo­ple have pre­vi­ously de­clared an in­ter­est in the Cam­bridgeshire job. They in­clude Coun­cil­lor Matthew Lee, deputy leader of Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil, Cam­bridgeshire coun­cil­lor Shona John­stone, who is a mem­ber of the po­lice au­thor­ity, and the cur­rent po­lice au­thor­ity chair­man Ruth Rogers.

There will be elec­tions for Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sion­ers in 41 polic­ing ar­eas across the UK. The big­gest name to ex­press an in­ter­est in tak­ing part is the for­mer deputy prime min­is­ter Lord Prescott in West­min­ster. Ex­ist­ing po­lice au­thor­ity mem­bers and politi­cians make up most of the oth­ers.

Stand­ing: Stephen Gold­spink, who has put his name for­ward to be the new Cam­bridgeshire Po­lice Com­mis­sioner

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