May 23 2013 Latest news:
By Marijke Cox, dReporter
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
100 days until polling stations open
THE countdown has started for the biggest change to policing in decades.
One hundred days from now, voters will take to the polls and elect the individual who will replace the Kent Police Authority (KPA) as Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).
The successful candidate will have the power to hire and fire the chief constable, set the police budget, write and publish a police and crime plan, and commission services.
They will not run the police but be “the voice of the people” and hold the force to account. The chief constable will remain responsible for operational matters.
The PCC will be paid £85,000, irrespective of days worked, and will decide how policing money is spent.
Chief executive of KPA Graham Hooper said it was important that people in Kent cast their vote on November 15.
Fears are the turnout will be extremely poor, with some suggesting just a 15 per cent turnout.
“This is a very exciting time and a massive change to how Kent Police is held to account,” said Mr Hooper.
“It is the biggest shake-up to policing in 50 years and I urge the public to get involved by voting in the elections on November 15.”
The PCC will officially take over from KPA on November 22, when the existing authority dissolves.
While the successful candidate will hold the power, a Police and Crime Panel will be put in place to scrutinise the PCC’s actions.
The panel will also be able to veto decisions on the tax precept and the appointment of a new chief constable.
But the PCC will have the final say, even if opposing recommendations are put forward.
Work is already under way to ensure a smooth handover between KPA and the PCC.
Chief executive of Dover District Council Nadeem Aziz is the Police Area Returning Officer and will oversee the voting process.
Electors have until October 31 to register to vote and results of the poll will be announced on Friday, November 16.
The election is expected to cost around £1.5m and there will be around 1,000 polling stations across the county.
A supplementary vote system will be used, where voters will select their first and second preferences and if no candidate gains 50 per cent the two candidates with the highest number of first preference votes go forward to a second round of counting.
Ballots for the unsuccessful candidates will be reallocated to the top two.
The official list of hopefuls will be announced on Tuesday, October 23.
So far the list of prospective candidates are Medway councillor Craig Mackinlay (Conservative), Ashford councillor Harriet Yeo (Labour), Steven Uncles (English Democrats) and independent hopefuls Ann Barnes, Dai Liyanage, Ken Little, Fran Croucher, Fergus Wilson and Ian Driver.
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