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Candidates in fight to be Police and Crime Commissioner
THE candidates battling to become the first West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner have been confirmed.
On Thursday, November 15, Wyre Forest voters will choose between independent Bill Longmore, Labour’s Dr Simon Murphy and Conservative Adrian Blackshaw, with results expected to be announced around lunchtime the next day.
After the commissioner (PCC) is elected, West Mercia Police Authority will cease to exist.
The commissioner will hold the Chief Constable and police force to account as well as taking on several of the authority’s roles, such as setting the police budget. A panel of 15 councillors and two independent members will be set up to hold the commissioner to account and PCCs must swear an oath of impartiality.
This election uses the supplementary voting system, meaning voters can choose a first and second preference.
First preference votes are counted and if one candidate receives more than 50 per cent of the vote they are elected.
If that is not achieved, the third-placed candidate is eliminated and ballot papers showing a first choice vote for that person are checked for their second preference.
Second choice votes for the two remaining candidates are added to first preference votes and the candidate with the most votes wins.
Mr Longmore, a former Staffordshire policeman, businessman and community sports worker, says “politicians should not interfere with policing”.
Dr Murphy has worked as an MEP, university tutor and company chairman and says he will appoint an independent deputy commissioner and put more police on the streets.
Former Army officer and businessman Mr Blackshaw says he will use a “track record of forging and sustaining effective partnerships” to “deliver an efficient, effective and coherent service”.
Wyre Forest voters will join West Mercia’s eight other districts – Worcester City, Bromsgrove, Redditch, Malvern Hills, Wychavon, Shropshire, Herefordshire and Telford and Wrekin – in voting.
The three candidates will speak directly to Wyre Forest residents in next week’s Shuttle.
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