Electing a Police Commisssoner

At today’s Electoral Panel a discussion took place on the setting up of a system for the election of a Police Commissioner; that’s if the Police and Social Responsibility Bill are enacted.

Cornwall Council has been asked to be the lead authority in the Devon and Cornwall boundaries for setting up the election. On one hand, it is good that Cornwall Council has been recognised as capable of being the lead authority.

There is however a worry that being this lead authority would incur substantial costs. Today the Panel were told that this could be around £1 million in set up costs and the possibility of at least £50k-£60k in additional staff costs in running any election.

It was pointed out that these costs should not be met by the Cornish tax payer. We were told the Ministry of Justice should (yes should) reimburse the full costs. These full costs are not only about running the election, but all the additional costs like cost of voter education.

The cost of voter education could be substantial as the system for electing a Police Commissioner will be carried out by Supplementary Vote (SV). For details on this voting system can be found HERE.

It almost beggars belief that the very Government who recently held a Referendum on First Past the Post or Alternative Vote is now saying this election for the Police Commissioner will be carried out by ANOTHER voting system. Come on; let’s stick to one voting system as this will mean less confusion.

Anyway, the Panel wanted clarification from the Ministry that they would be reimbursed for any costs incurred by Cornwall Council before they accepted being the lead authority.

One comment

  • Gavin Lang, Porthleven

    Possibly getting the public used to SV in local matters before rolling it out nationally, or am I just being cynical?

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