“I’m not voting” – Ben Berry discusses the reasons to vote in tomorrows election

In a web chat, Ben Berry talks to a local man about voting in tomorrow’s election. Please excuse any grammatical or spelling mistakes.

Ben Berry: Don’t forget to vote tomorrow!


Carl: afraid I’m not voting

Quite a lot of people aren’t

I personally don’t see why we need a local commissioner, after them shutting down police stations and saving money

They’ve opened up a new position to spend it another way

Everyone I’ve spoken to feel the same


B: Ok. Shall I come back on that or is it set in stone?


C: I’m open to hearing your side


B: Well the Police Authority was a terrible system. You had 17 people, mostly politicians, making the decisions and none were directly accountable to anyone. Their expenses last year are reported to be around £250,000.

Instead we will have one person, who we get to choose, who will cost less and if they do something we don’t like, we can get rid of them


C: How many of these local commissioners are there?


B: There will be 41 across the country in each policing area except London where Boris will continue to control the MET

So we have one for Cumbria Police


C: Each needing a salary too of course, they’re basically deciding how to manage the funds they have right?


B: Yeh


C: Crime prevention, how many officers are on the street?


B: The salary is circa 65k and they have control over the policing plan

And budget

So they control the precept too.

This went up over 3% last year compared to 0% for South Lakeland District Council and 0% for Cumbria County Council


C: So council tax will be going up presumably to pay for their salaries?


B: No, it’s funded from the home office, not the local budget

Now the other side of the argument is, even though many don’t want them, and there are good arguments against having them. But here we are having them so it’s important to get the one you want


C: So there’s a chance that some counties may end up with local commissioners whereas other will still be under their police authority?

There needs to be a minimum turn out for voting I would guess


B: No. all police authorities have been disbanded

No minimum turn out. One person could vote and the person they voted for would win

What I think will happen is there will be a very low turn out this time, about 30%. Then next time it will grow significantly when we see how important the role is


C: Your explanation is the first one i’ve heard

Not seen anything on TV or in the media about it


B: That’s 90% of what’s wrong with this election

New position, no info


C: Who foots the cost of the elections?


B: I can’t remember. Definitely not the police.

SLDC pay for it, but I can’t remember if we get reimbursed for it or not

It’s not cheap either

It was supposed to happen in May to keep costs down but got delayed in parliament


C: Makes sense to really


B: So this term is only 3.5years long so that it will fall in line with other elections next time


C: Just had a breif look on Westmorland Gazette website, a lot of the answers to the questions are quite vague!

to the candidates

basically it just feels like you’re voting for the party and not the persons ideas

as there’s nothing to choose between them

Basically, it’s as much use as asking them, so whats your stance on crime?


B: haha yeh

“erm crime is bad so i think we should stop that”


I don’t know if you “like” my Ben Berry (Politician) page on Facebook, but I posted earlier with the three reasons people should vote for Richard Rhodes “Three reasons why you should vote @RhodesRr tomorrow: 1.Never been a Politician. 2.Has a plan. 3.Relevant experience of justice”

So, will you vote tomorrow? :p


C: I’ll try and find some decent info on the candidates

the default choice would be the independent one


B: I understand the urge there, but just because she is independent doesn’t mean she is not political. She is deputy leader of Eden District Council.


C: Why are there no candidates that have actively worked in law enforcement before?

I’d imagine that would make some sense there


B: Well I think its a good thing. We need new ideas and a fresh set of eyes

In many areas there are retired policemen and Women however.


C: whilst true, if you asked the desk guy at a garage to fix your engine, he’d probably muck it up pretty good


B: haha. But ask him to run a garage and he does better than a mechanic

That’s what we are doing here.

Operations will still be in control of the chief constable

But the strategic view, plan and priorities will be decided by the Police and Crime Commissioner

Thankfully, the man I’m supporting does have a good resume when it comes to crime.

haha, that sounds like he is a King Pin or something!

He was a magistrate for 30 years and is the head of the probation board

So he has seen the problems on the ground. Seen where things are going well or badly

And although he has conservative values and is on a Conservative party ticket, we’ve had no say on his manifesto. They’re his ideas.


C: Well if you’ve had first hand experience like that, you’ve probably been in the position where budget has been cut and you’ve seen first hand what effect it has



B: The budget will be the biggest thing they have to wrestle with

But even with the massive cuts that were passed down, crime has fallen.


B: Well I hope I’ve given you enough reason to vote and hopefully vote Richard Rhodes.


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