IN November 2012 publicly elected police and crime commissioners (PCCs) will replace police authorities in England and Wales.
PCCs will be responsible for setting community safety priorities and funding community activity to meet those needs. Thus, grant funding previously directed to the local authority will be given to PCCs. This will inevitably mean significant changes to commissioning arrangements for voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations involved in community safety services and changes to their partnership working arrangements. The impact will be dependent upon how the PCC chooses to conduct their business.
I strongly suggest therefore, that people make themselves more aware of the election and the potential PCC candidates’ manifestos, in order to influence them. Even if you are not directly involved in community safety work, we are all indirectly involved in terms of the desire to live in a supportive, safe and enterprising town. In this regard, I am rather puzzled as to why this major change has not been promoted much at all.
I think it is Hastings Borough Council’s duty to set up a public meeting now to explain what this change means in practice for everyone. This way the public will not be kept in the dark until the last minute, have time to research and will be making an informed choice when they come to vote for the PCC.
Also, as far as I understand, anyone can apply to stand as a candidate as long as you are over 18 and a UK resident. For more information on standing for the election you can go to the Home Office website and www.clinks.org.