Voters quiz candidates vying to be police and crime commisioner at hustings event in Oakham

Clive Loader, the Conservative candidate, Rutland and Stamford Mercury editor Eileen Green, Suleman Nagdi, Independent, and Sarah Russell, Labour.
Clive Loader, the Conservative candidate, Rutland and Stamford Mercury editor Eileen Green, Suleman Nagdi, Independent, and Sarah Russell, Labour.

The three candidates campaigning to be elected as the area’s first police and crime commissioner have spelled out why Rutlanders should vote for them.

The candidates were at a special hustings event held on Tuesday evening at Rutland County Museum in Oakham.

More than 120 people went along to quiz the three –Sir

Clive Loader, the Conservative candidate, Suleman Nagdi, Independent, and Sarah Russell, Labour.

Voting will take place on November 15 to choose a commissioner for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Police and crime commissioners are a new idea for England and Wales. They will be charged with securing the maintenance of an efficient and effective police force; police budgets and raising the local policing precept from council tax.

They will also be responsible for the appointment, suspension and dismissal of chief constables.

The commissioner for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland will, along with Chief Constable Simon Cole, create a plan which includes their objectives for policing, what resources will be provided to Mr Cole and how performance will be measured.

At the hustings event, which was chaired by Rutland Times editor Eileen Green, the candidates answered questions submitted in advance and posed from the floor.

Among a host of subjects covered, the candidates were asked how they would ensure Rutland got value for money from the police; how they would balance the needs of rural areas against those of the city; who was paying for their campaign; how they would remain independent of political control and serve the whole of the Leicestershire Constabulary area and how they would ensure the views of the general public were listened to.

Editor Eileen Green said she thought the event, organised by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) East Midlands, had been a very worthwhile exercise.

She said: “The elections for police and crime commissioners are fast approaching and it is important that voters find out more about the candidates in their area.

“Tuesday evening’s event gave the candidates an opportunity to outline their views and it was interesting to hear what they had to say.”

Ron Simpson, chairman of CMI East Midlands and co-ordinator of the Rutland Consortium, the independent voice of the voluntary sector in Rutland, said the turnout to the hustings had been excellent.

He said: “I was delighted with the community response to the opportunity to meet the candidates.

“Once again the people of Rutland have demonstrated their community spirit and interest in who is elected to act on their behalf.

“The meeting demonstrated that voters in the county have an excellent choice of candidates for this important community leadership role. I hope everyone will exercise their vote thoughtfully on November 15.”

For the elections there will be a supplementary vote system.

Under the supplementary vote system, a voter is asked to indicate first and second preferences. If no candidate has 50 per cent of the first preference votes, the two candidates with the highest number of first preference votes go forward to a second round. In the second round of counting, ballots indicating a first preference for a candidate that lost the first round are reallocated according to the second preference indicated in the ballot paper.

There will be polling stations across the area and anyone on the Electoral Register will be eligible to vote.