Chance to quiz Essex crime chief candidates

Published: 8 October 2012 at 14:03

Anglia Ruskin to host hustings ahead of first Police and Crime Commissioner elections

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The Essex public will have the opportunity to quiz the candidates hoping to become the county’s first elected Police and Crime Commissioner during a special hustings at Anglia Ruskin University on Wednesday, 31 October.

The event, held on Anglia Ruskin’s Chelmsford campus, is in partnership with the Essex Chronicle, and will see the candidates each give a short presentation about themselves and their policies.  The chair of the event, Anglia Ruskin’s Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Alan Sibbald, will then ask for questions from the audience.

Essex will go to the polls on 15 November to elect its first Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), but a recent survey by the Essex Chronicle revealed that only one in five people in Chelmsford are aware that the elections are taking place.

A national advertising campaign will begin later this month in an attempt to raise awareness, while the Electoral Commission, the UK’s election watchdog, is preparing to distribute a booklet to every household in England and Wales with information about the PCC elections.

The role of PCC, which comes with an annual salary of £85,000, has extensive powers, including appointing the Chief Constable and holding them to account, publishing a Police and Crime Plan and setting the police budget.  In total 37 PCCs will be elected in England and four in Wales on 15 November.

Nominations to stand will close on Friday, 19 October and so far eight people have announced their candidacy for the position of Essex PCC: Nick Alston (Conservative), Linda Belgrove (Independent), John Gili-Ross (Independent), Anthony Lyster (Independent), Val Morris-Cook (Labour), Andrew Smith (UKIP), Mick Thwaites (Independent) and Robin Tilbrook (English Democrats).

The event on 31 October is free of charge and will run from 6.45pm-8.45pm at Anglia Ruskin’s Chelmsford campus.  It is not necessary to book places, but for further information please contact Andrea Hilliard by emailing