Police Commissioners Talk
  • A reminder that WivSoc has a Q & A session with Linda Belgrove this Friday, one of the candidates standing to become the Essex Police and Crime Commissioner. The event is at The Nottage with an 8pm start.

    The elections take place on 15th November. Here's the full list of candidates standing in Essex.
  • Any recommendations on who to vote for here Jason? It seems a bit like a can of worms to me.......
  • You get a first and a second choice preference vote .....but here's one view on it all from former Metropolitan Police chief Lord Ian Blair:
    ""If they were going to break policing up, do it in a completely
    different way, small cities and small towns, perfect. But that is not
    what you have got."


    Police and Crime Commisioner Elections.jpg
    250 x 328 - 130K
  • The democratic conundrum:  we'll still end up with someone as PCC....  even if hardly anyone bothers to vote.
  • Rather like the Guardian journo we've had two pieces of paper through the post on this subject - a polling card, and another polling card. I've heard of voter apathy, but candidate apathy....

  • Whoever wins it is hard to see how he or she can claim any democratic legitimacy.
  • Mandate seems to count for little in our democracy. Part of the objection to Lords reform was the fear that the proposed voting system (PR) would give them a greater mandate than MPs in the Commons... there's an obvious answer to that one until you remember PR was the one thing they definitely didn't want to offer us during the voting reform farce.

  • I am not sure mandate is a subject  this present government wants to investigate too closely!
  • Amen to that Patsy. What a farce, no effort made by candidates to engage with voters (do they receive any money for leafletting at least?).  At least Linda is showing her face, though I have no idea who/what she stands for, so perhaps I ought to visit the Nottage (not perhaps the best use of voters time if they have to go and see/hear each candidate individually).  Sigh.
  • we've had two pieces of paper through the post on this subject - a polling card, and another polling card.

    And everything on the radio for the past fortnight as been about some elections 3,000 miles away.
    Bizarre init.

  • Yeah, well the Americans know all about a mandate don't they. lol
    Billions spent to secure a 1-2% advantage in the popular vote, and all candidates outside the two main parties given zero attention by the US media (according to the completely unbiased Russia Today :)

  • I just read the Guardian article Patsy referred to.
    I mostly rate Guardian articles but I thought this one read like a proper Eeyore piece: Why should I bother; nobody cares to tell me anything and it's not as if I agree with the idea anyway.

    This election may take some beating in the way it was foisted upon us, and in its scanty preparation and candidate exposure. But when all is said and done, the process that's set to unfold on 15 November will land us with a PCC for this region and either you have your say in who this will be or not- simple as that.

    And you can read about all the Essex candidates here, listen to one of them on 9 November at The Nottage (see calendar), have an online conversation with another here, and read the view's of another here, see why you haven't been leafleted here, and so on.

    For an on-line savvy community there's not much excuse for not knowing what gives.
  • Call me an Eeyore if you like but I think that democratic accountability rests within the whole community not just the online savvy bunch that you find here! 
  • Yeah, well the Americans know all about a mandate don't they. lol


  • Patsy, It's the article's author I'd call an Eeyore, not you ;)
    The preparation for this election has been woefully inadequate and that's a good reason for anyone who can do so to find out more about it.

    I'm not particularly keen on the whole idea of PCCs but what I would hate even more is having someone in that position who got in on a 10% turn out.
    If I have to put up with a PCC I'd at least like to have the solace that the person elected is there by the will of a considerable number of my fellow citizens.
    l fail to see how advising people to spoil their paper or not to vote at all addresses the democratic deficiency in any way.
  • Must admit I am planning to spoil my ballot in this instance.
    Voting as normal gives this joke of a process credibility it does not merit IMO.

    If the PCCs get in with a really low turn out, a bigger point can be made. If the turn out is just a little bit lower than other local elections, the pols can happily ignore complaints about the process.

  • A very large return of spoiled papers would make a much stronger statement about the process than abstaining, which could be interpreted as apathy.
  • ...spoiled papers would make a much stronger statement about the process...

    Does anyone really believe that that would be the official interpretation?
  • Maybe not, but free elections and the fourth estate are there if we care to use them effectively. 
  • A very large return of spoiled papers would make a much stronger statement about the process than abstaining

    Although without voting, we risk somebody as authoritarian as our last governments many Home Secretaries   ;-)


  • Dazzer, I don 't know what you mean by 'if we use them effectively' - you mean after the event? How would that be effective?
  • Pitfall, why are you asking Jason for a recommendation - does he know something that's hidden?
  • Who is this body called One Team Policing who's website says:
    "Thank you for using our Police Crime Commissioner web site which we provide primarily for commercial purposes. Our site has no association with the Home Office or any other Government department."
    What does all that mean?

    These PCC folk are going to have a lot of power. Are there any minimum requirements to stand for election? I think they should at least have sat some sort of test, e.g. logic tests.
    Did the Wiv Society invite them? Is the meeting open to everyone or just society members?
  • A question about those standing for election - do they have to declare any interests in companies that might benefit from any privatisation of police services, which they may support?
  • How can they justify a salary of £85,000 for this fancy job?
  • re: "Pitfall, why are you asking Jason for a recommendation - does he know something that's hidden?"

    In a modern democracy we can delegate our decision-making responsibilities to whomsoever we choose...;-p

  • I'm just surprised that as a member of Wivenhoe Society I haven't been notified of this talk.  There may have been a mention of it in the last newsletter which came out a couple of months ago but don't understand why WS haven't emailed their members with this information especially if they are hoping for a good turnout?


  • The Wivenhoe Society was approached by Linda Belgrove to give a talk regarding the forthcoming elections for the post of Police and Crime commissioner. She has stated that this will be a factual talk and NO electioneering will be allowed. The meeting is open to everyone not just Wivenhoe Society members. It was felt that, due to the lack of information from the government, this meeting would help Wivenhoveons have a better understanding of what was happening hence the title Who,What,Why and Where. I apologize to those who feel that I have overstepped the mark but at the time there was no information available regarding this election and I thought it would be a very good idea to have an informed talk regarding this matter. Finally it was remiss of me not to have all the WivSoc members e-mailed.   Dave Harrison, Chairman The Wivenhoe Society
  • Will Bramhall, of the Colchester Cycle Campaign, has grilled the candidates on their attitude to 20mph speed limits.

    "Colchester Cycling Campaign questioned the Essex candidates for the post of

    Police and Crime Commissioner about their attitude to 20mph. The responses

    are below. I have not received a response from  Nick Alston (Conservatives)

    despite two requests.


    Andrew Smith, UKIP, via email: I do not agree with your point mainly

    I do not think all residential areas justify it.  I also prefer more

    attention on dangerous driving at any speed rather than blanket limits on

    speed.  Often the police seem to want to catch speeding but pay almost no

    attention to dangerous driving. In my road even 20 is too high at times but

    on other parts of the road at other times 30 is fine.




    Mick Thwaites, Independent, via Twitter: @willbramhill It's up to your

    authority. It should be self enforcing with suitable traffic management in

    place, not left to the police. I'm not talking about the police not

    involved, just local authority taking the lead, traffic cops enforcing

    areas to reduce casualties.





    Valerie Morris-Cook, Labour, via Twitter: @willbramhill I do support 20mph

    around schools, parks and in some housing areas. This is something that all

    local authorities should be managing. As a voice of Essex, I would ensure

    public feeling is known.





    Linda Belgrove, Independent, via Twitter: @willbramhill You helped me to

    a 30mph in my village! I support 20mph outside schools and in residential

    areas. Local people to decide.





    Robin Tilbrook, English Democrats, via Facebook:  I don't have much of an

    opinion on this but why would it matter if I did?


    Will B: You are standing for PPC, aren't you? Police support of local

    authorities vital to success of 20mph in lowering injuries, making towns



    Robin T: The Police Commissioner will have no role in deciding on 20mph

    speed limits. He cannot change the law at all.


    Will B: Law already in place. Up to LAs to implement it. Police response

    varied by area - their opinion is vital.


    Robin T: The Police have no role in deciding the speed limit - only in



    Will B: Please see 20splentyforus.org.uk"


    The elections for police and crime commissioners are taking place

    on November 15. You can find out more about your local candidates at





  • Confirms my opinion of Ukip and English Democrats - but I wasn't going to vote for them anyway
  • Typical politicians answers. That's the problem - you get the feeling that they are just saying what they think you want to hear, and that they don't actually mean it.

    For example, Andrew Smith, UKIP, has got the car drivers vote in mind, as that is quite a few people.

  • Last nights meeting organized by Wivenhoe Society was a great success regrettably not many people turned up. Remember if you do not vote do not moan about the result.
  • I'll vote, but I just have the feeling that I will have a lot to moan about anyway.
  • I'm not sure that policing should be linked to political parties - just as local planning shouldn't be the concern of local politicians.
  • One of the interesting facts which came out of the meeting on Friday was that, bearing in mind that the deposit for anyone standing for parliament is £500, the deposit for the Police Commissioner is £5,000!
  • Many people have said to me they are not voting or are going to spoil their paper. These are the people who have a conscience and are thinking about it. The problem is that those with a vested interest will vote. The vote is going ahead with or without our input. I am fearful that if the majority do nothing we will be landed with a Police Commissioner that can drum up the most voters (mainly political and fringe organisations). With a heavy heart I will be voting.
  • Liz, agree it does not make sense that policing should be linked to political parties. Imagine voting for the Labour candidate if you do not like Dave Cameron, or vice versa.

    There should be an extra box to tick, "I don't want one" so if enough people ticked that box, we would not have any problem. It is not going to happen though.

  • The more I think about this the more I think spoiling the ballot is the ethical option.
    Spoiled ballots are clearly not indicative of voter apathy, and can send a message to those who would further undermine democracy in this country.
    On this forum we are all reasonably web-savvy and can find information if we wish to. However, a democracy needs to include EVERYONE who is entitled to vote. The ONLY way to do that IMO is to post information through every letterbox. That has not been done. It is a worrying slip in standards with much broader ramifications than simply the current vote. What, for example, would people feel if General Elections were run in the same way in the future?
    It's not democracy if only some people are invited to the party.

  • It also concerns me that the current police committees, which at least allow for the possibility of representing the diverse make-up of police authority areas, are being replaced by a single commissioner. The centres with the highest population density will presumably carry the vote to the detriment of other areas.
  • A response from Val Morris-Cook....


    Thank you for your email

    With the pressure on resources i cannot promise to re-instate the police front counters in any area that has seen there demise.

    What i do think it an opportunity is to see what is available- such as using community hubs as a base for police so there is a presence which is really important.

    What is important in today's world is for the public to feel that it is worth reporting crime, the current statistics show that crime is dropping ! i do not share this view I feel that the public and businesses have stopped reporting as they see no point...

    When we start to see the true picture we can lobby for additional resources to support what we know matters....We also need to release officers from the burden of baby sitting and get on with the job they all signed up for..


  • In terms of information on the candidates, there was a spread in last week's Essex County Standard about them, and we did have a one sheet newspaper through our door from Val Morris-Cook.  Otherwise it's the website
    I agree that this post should not be politicised and therefore should not be subject to our vote but now it's there and some will be voting I don't want to leave the choice to others.  I would rather be voting on whether there should be a vote or not, but don't think spoiled papers will necessarily be read that way.  So doing the usual ineffective thing of writing to the MP.
  • If anyone still has yesterday's Gazette there is also a spread on pp10-11 with information.

    Re: Patsy, yes I guess larger population centres have more say but it is still one person one vote. There is also the police and crime panel, made up of one rep from each local authority and two lay members. I can't remember now what the deadline is for applications for lay members, and whether this has passed.

  • Whoever gets in will have as much right to rule as the current coalition government. I fear that whatever we do is futile in this election. Although I have to admit I'm worried that if lots of fair-minded thinkers don't vote then fascists might win, and these extremists will probably contract out police work so that minorities, protesters and campaigners can be quietened in the back of 'police' vans.
  • My decision is to vote for the Labour person - Val. Because Labour are actually against the whole commissioners policy and she is very aware of the pressure PCCs are going to come under. She is planning to protect the independence of the police, and uses that all important phrases "transparency over meetings". In answer to my questions about privatisation she said:

    "I do not believe that it is the right move
    to privatise our police services It is a step too far to imagine a security
    service patrolling our streets or involved in investigative work. I will also
    commit to transparency over meetings and contacts with lobbyists and in the decision-making
    process of any existing or new public private partnerships. As whether we like
    it or not any PCC will be lobbied. But I will do everything I can to protect
    our Police."
  • Although I have to admit I'm worried that if lots of fair-minded thinkers don't vote then fascists might win............  My decision is to vote for the Labour person

    Are you aware of Labours track record on civil liberties   :-)
    I'm just sayin'......

  • Have to agree with you there Biker (sigh).  The only candidate who bothered to reply promptly to my e-mails was Linda Belgrove (an intelligent, rather than party-line gobbledegook response), and as she was the only one to appear 'in the flesh', I'll be taking that into account today.

  • "I'm worried that if lots of fair-minded thinkers don't vote then fascists might win"

    Whilst not desirable, I think that is the lesser of evils compared to giving this farce of an election any credibility. No CC is going to pay much attention to a self-proclaimed bigot (at least, I hope they wouldn't...)

  • No CC is going to pay much attention to a self-proclaimed bigot (at least, I hope they wouldn't...)

    a) how would you know if s/he had or not?
    b) s/he would probably be acting illegally if they didn't pay attention

    Voting beats 'hoping'.

  • I said that ages ago.
  • Just off to vote

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Wivenhoe Diary
Many thanks to Wivenhoe News for helping to source these dates
1 - 30 April, James Dodds exhibiting at Over the Sofa Gallery, Wivenhoe Bookshop
11 April - 10 May, Jarman's Dungeness, an exhibition by Andy Brooke celebrating Jarman's vision 20 years on, Wivenhoe Library
11 April, Wivenhoe Watching Wildlife Springwatch, Sailing Club, 7:30 - 10pm
12 April, WTFC Vs Thetford Town, Broad Lane, 3pm
12 April, Wivenhoe Ferry Fundraiser, the Sailing Club, 7:30pm - late. Live music from Strings Attached, DJ and curry meal. Tickets £12 from the Bookshop.
13 April, WivGigs, Come and Try day
15 April, Moving Image, Enough Said, William Loveless Hall, 7:30pm
17 and 18 May, Wivenhoe Open Gardens, various locations around the town
17 - 20 April, Beer Festival at the Black Buoy pub; 20 plus guest beers and ciders, food, live music.
19 April, Farmer's Market, Congregational Hall, 9:30 - 12:30pm
19 April, Easter Workshop for children, age 5 - 12, St Mary’s, 2pm - 3:30pm
21 April, WTFC Vs Stanway Rovers, Broad Lane, 3pm
23 April, Italian Literature, start of a five week course with Giovanni Colacicchi, Wivenhoe Bookshop, 2:30 - 4:30pm
23 April, Wivenhoe Film Club, Bicycle Thieves, The Nottage, 7:30pm
24 April, poetrywivenhoe, Allison McVety, The Legion, 8pm
24 April, Funny Farm Comedy Club, Andrew O'Neill, Cricket Club, 8pm
25 April - start of Wild About Wivenhoe month. Various events centred around the Wildlife Garden. Full details to be published... when known!
25 April, Transition Town Wivenhoe Spring Event, open-air bicycle-powered cinema, bar, evening food, all at the Wildlife Garden
26 April, Watching Wivenhoe Wildlife Dawn Chorus Walk, meet at 5am in the train station car park
26 April, Transition Town Wivenhoe Spring Event, Art and Photography Exhibition themed around the Wildlife Garden, William Loveless Hall
26 April, Bird Walk with Richard Allen, Sailing Club, 10am
29 April, Moving Image, All is Lost, William Loveless Hall, 7:30pm
2nd May, Wivenhoe Society Talk, Richard Moulson, CBC Ranger: 'History and Management of Colne Nature Reserve, Wivenhoe Woods and Ferry Marsh, The Nottage, 7:30pm
3 May, WTFC Vs Diss, Broad Lane, 3pm
9 May, Watching Wivenhoe Wildlife, presentations about wildlife in gardens, and gardening for wildlife in Wivenhoe Library, presented by John Rowland, Glyn Evans & Chris Gibson
13 May, Moving Image, Nebraska, William Loveless Hall, 7:30pm
14 May, Wivenhoe Town Council Annual Meeting, William Loveless Hall, 7:30pm, all welcome.
16 May, Shipyard Studios, Inside Out, Keel House, 5 Walter Radcliffe Road, 3pm - 8pm www.shipyardstudios.co.uk
17 - 26 May, Shipyard Studios, Inside Out, Keel House, 5 Walter Radcliffe Road, 10am - 5pm www.shipyardstudios.co.uk
17 May, Watching Wivenhoe Wildlife, Moth Trapping and Bat Watching, Wildlife Garden
18 May, Watching Wivenhoe Wildlife, Moth Trapping - the reveal!
20 May, Moving Image, Saving Mr Banks, William Loveless Hall, 7:30pm
15 June, Watching Wivenhoe Wildlife, Wildflower Walk in the gravel pits behind the cricket club, 11am
29 June, Jazz on the Quay, 1pm