I DO not know what percentage of the electorate in the Ribble Valley cast a vote in this month’s election for a Police Commissioner, but the figure for Lancashire as a whole was just 15.5%.
No candidate received 50% of the first choice votes and so the result had to be decided by taking second choice votes into account. This means the successful candidate was elected by the first choice votes of less than 7.75% of the electorate; I suspect much less.
Can this be regarded in any way as a mandate for that person, or indeed any candidate, to represent the views of the people of Lancashire in this most vital of matters?
I have cast my vote in every single local and parliamentary election since I first became eligible at age 21. I have to say I was sorely tempted to abstain for the very first time. In the absence of any election literature, I had to seek out the views and qualifications of the candidates myself. Only one had any legal experience and not one had any experience of policing.
Although intended to improve democratic control of the police, this was an ill-thought-out piece of legislation, compounded by the time of year the election was held, the failure to authorise any free post for candidate’s literature and the requirement for a deposit of £5,000 that made it virtually impossible for anybody not supported by a political party to put themselves forward as a candidate.
ANTHONY A. COOPER,
Peel Park Avenue,