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Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner election hustings

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: November 08, 2012

Martin Surl Rupi Dhanda Victoria Atkins and Alistair Cameron

Martin Surl Rupi Dhanda Victoria Atkins and Alistair Cameron

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HOLDING a police and crime commissioner election in Gloucestershire now is not a good idea, said two candidates vying for the job.

At a hustings in Tewkesbury's Watson Hall, Martin Surl and Rupi Dhanda admitted they had serious misgivings about the timing of the vote on November 15.

They were responding to a point raised by town councillor John Badham that the role would bring politics more into policing.

Former police superintendent Mr Surl, an independent candidate, said: "I agree. I don't think it was a very wise election to call right now. There's a real danger that if I don't win, a political party will win control of the police."

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Mrs Dhanda, a family lawyer standing for the Labour Party, said it would have cost less taxpayers' money to hold it at the same time as the county council elections in May.

She said: "It could have been restructured but we don't have that choice now."

The other two candidates seemed happier at the election's timing.

Alistair Cameron, a school governors' clerk standing for the Liberal Democrats, said the commissioner would have to take an oath not to bring politics into the job.

Conservative candidate and criminal barrister Victoria Atkins said: "I believe this can be a real force for good."

Watched by an audience of around 100, each candidate was given five minutes to say why they felt they should be elected and then several questions were taken from the floor.

Summing up, Mr Surl said he had the skills to do the best for his county, which he was born in and cared about. Mrs Dhanda encouraged people to vote as she said it was a very important issue. Mr Cameron said he would oppose further cuts and raise the police's share of council tax if necessary.

Mrs Atkins said she wanted to be a voice for the people of the county and use her experience to enable the police to do a better job.

■ Martin Surl swore on national television when Today presenter Sarah Montague visited the county. He was told the word "experienced" had been spelled wrongly and the word s**t escaped his lips.

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  • BARCABOY  |  November 08 2012, 4:23PM

    I don't even know what we're meant to be voting for exactly?

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  • a_calm_voice  |  November 08 2012, 4:20PM

    EllJay1 is correct, you don't have to put a second choice. But if you don't and your favourite candidate doesn't get enough votes you have wasted the chance to get your second favourite into the job. If someone standing under a party banner is going to win I'd rather it was the only one of the three who hadn't already tried to become an MP. I suspect the other two may be standing in this election mainly to increase their chances of getting a safe seat in Parliament in the future or because they see it as a sort of consolation prize for not becoming an MP. So from the three political candidates I'd choose Rupi Dhanda

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  • MissyMadDog  |  November 08 2012, 3:30PM

    I'd like to know where each candidate stands on the privatisation of the police because I've not heard their views on this. And why hasn't any info from any of them been sent out to all households, if they want the job that badly you'd think they'd go all out and try to win votes.

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  • EllJay1  |  November 08 2012, 3:00PM

    You don't have to give two votes. If you want you can just vote for one of them. In our house we both voted for Martin Surl. Politics should stay out of this election.

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  • cdotd  |  November 08 2012, 1:44PM

    What date and where can we vote?

    Rate   -2
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  • a_calm_voice  |  November 08 2012, 1:40PM

    No surprise that the Liberal Democrat and Conservative candidates think that holding the election is a good idea. It's their parties' coalition government that initiated the thing. Both of them have tried to become MPs and may well plan to try again, so they can't risk upsetting their party bosses can they? My postal vote has arrived showing we get two choices. Mine will be going to the two candidates who aren't representing the coalition especially as, out of the party ones, Mrs Dhanda seems to be the least politically ambitious.

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  • IsitJimKerr  |  November 08 2012, 12:44PM

    elgoog........loving your comments here. I think most of us agree it should be apolitical, as we were originally told. So by default, my vote goes to MS.

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  • NibNobs  |  November 08 2012, 12:39PM

    This is the first time I've seen any other names than Rupi Dhanda standing for election. Because Rupi, the badger's best friend is clearly good at getting publicity (always pictured in Barton & Tredworth) If Martin Surl is an senior ex-copper himself, I would say he will get more respect by the police themselves, having actually DONE the job. Will probably vote now I know there's someone who actually knows his subject rather than 'here today, gone tomorrow wannabes'

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  • elgoog  |  November 08 2012, 11:20AM

    "Alistair Cameron, a school governors' clerk standing for the Liberal Democrats, said the commissioner would have to take an oath not to bring politics into the job." Liberal democrats don't have much trouble forgetting the promises in their election manifesto. Why should this be any different? The political candidates could have resigned their party memberships to stand as independent; they didn't.

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  • Douglasknows  |  November 08 2012, 10:43AM

    We should all vote for a non political candidate that has good experience from his time in the police force.

    Rate   4
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