County to decide next police and crime commissioner in upcoming election

By John Wimperis - Local Democracy Reporter

14th Apr 2024 | Local News

There are four candidates for the role, with all the usual suspects putting someone up for election: the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, and the Greens.
There are four candidates for the role, with all the usual suspects putting someone up for election: the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, and the Greens.

The county will go to the polls next month to decide who should be responsible for Avon and Somerset Police.

The police and crime commissioner sets the police precept part of council tax, decides how the budget is spent, sets local policing priorities, and can appoint and dismiss the chief constable. They also hold a regular performance and accountability panel, holding the chief constable and deputy chief constable to account on local issues.

The election coincides with Bristol's local elections, a Somerset Council byelection for Mendip South, and a South Gloucestershire Council byelection for New Cheltenham. But for everyone else in the Avon and Somerset area it is the only election happening on May 2 — a day on which every voter in England and Wales will be able to vote in at least one type of election because there are so many happening across the county.

There are four candidates for the role, with all the usual suspects putting someone up for election: the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, and the Greens.

Police and crime commissioner elections previously used a "supplementary vote system," where people could vote for a first and second choice. Now they will use a "first past the post system," meaning that you only have one vote. Here are the people who want it:

Mark Shelford, Conservative



PCC Mark Shelford

The incumbent Conservative Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Shelford is seeking re-election to the role.

He was elected at the last elections in 2021 and was formerly a councillor on and deputy leader of Bath and North East Somerset Council.

Clare Moody, Labour

Clare Moody (Image: Labour Party)

Former South West MEP Clare Moody is standing as Labour's candidate for the role.

She previously stood as Labour's police and crime commissioner candidate in Wiltshire in 2012, coming second after Conservative Angus Macpherson.

Benet Allen, Liberal Democrat

Benet Allen, Liberal Democrat candidate for Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner (Image: Liberal Democrats)

Benet Allen, who was a councillor on and formerly deputy leader of the now-abolished Somerset West and Taunton Council, is the Liberal Democrat candidate for the role.

He lives in Minehead and has worked as a helicopter pilot.

Katy Grant, Green

Katy Grant (Image: Green Party)

Green candidate for the role Katy Grant grew up on a farm on Somerset's border with Devon.

She now lives in Bristol where she is a councillor on Bristol City Council and family court magistrate for Avon and Somerset.

The deadline to register to vote in the election is Tuesday April 16. You will need to bring one of the 22 acceptable forms of photo ID with you to vote in person. If you do not have one of them, the deadline to apply for a "voter authority certificate" which you can take instead is 5pm on April 24.

Will Godfrey, police area returning officer for the Avon and Somerset Police Area, said: "This is an important election for our area, so please make sure you're registered to vote in time for the deadline. You can vote either at a polling station, by post or by proxy. If you wish to vote in person, please remember you will have to take accepted photo ID with you"

The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on Wednesday 17 April, and for a proxy vote the deadline is 5pm on 24 April.

     

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