As this tweet demonstrates, the Sussex voters have been handed the opportunity to vote for an Independent Police and Crime Commissioner on 6th May. The name of the person is Roy Williams or actually his full name is Roy Thomas Williams. It would be fantastic to find out some more about him which Sarah may be able to assist with. There are Independent candidates in Avon and Somerset – John Smith, Bedfordshire, Cleveland, Dorset – Dan Hardy, Gloucestershire (2), Gwent (2), Hampshire – Steve James-Balley, Lincolnshire (2), Norfolk, North Wales, North Yorkshire, Northumbria, South Wales, Staffordshire, Surrey (2), Thames Valley – Alan Robinson, West Midlands (2) and Wiltshire. Tragically there are 20 areas which do not include any Independents.
I have had the privilege to contact Dan Hardy from Dorset and I know Martin Surl from Gloucestershire who has been the PCC since 2012. His competitor who is an Independent is Adam (Stratts) Stratton. It will be sad to see the departure of Sue Mountstevens from Avon and Somerset and Martyn Underhill from Dorset who along with Martin Surl were the existing Independent PCCs. Let us hope their successors will be Independent and that there will be a break through in some of the other areas. Surrey is in a strange position as Kevin Hurley was the Independent from 2012-2016 and then he was beaten by David Munro who was the Conservative candidate. However this year David Munro who was rejected by his party is now standing as an Independent and so too is Kevin Hurley.
The reason for calling for Independents as PCCs includes the fact that the Conservative Government who introduced the concept of PCCs began by calling for only Independents to stand and then all of sudden chose to do a U turn. However in addition to this is the fact that our Police forces are led and indeed all of the members are meant to be Independent of Party Politics. In addition the concept of a PCC either rejecting everything the Government calls for because they are Labour or applauding everything the Government does because they are Conservative is deeply disturbing. We would no doubt benefit from Independent MPs (such as Martin Bell) and also Independent Mayors in places where they are elected such as London.