Residents across Bath and North East Somerset are encouraged to have their say in the elections for a new Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for the Avon and Somerset Police Area on Thursday 5 May.
What with a B&NES referendum to decide on whether to have an elected mayor on March 10th – AND the national EU referendum in June – looks like a busy time coming up for us to have our say.
The Police and Crime Commissioner, who is elected for a four-year term, is responsible for holding the Chief Constable and police force to account on behalf of the public, so it’s important that everyone votes for the person who they think will be best for the job.
Dr Jo Farrar, Chief Executive of Bath & North East Somerset Council, and Avon and Somerset Police Area Returning Officer, said: “Police and Crime Commissioners make decisions which will have a key impact on how your local area looks and feels, and how the policing needs of local communities are met. So it’s important that people have their say on Thursday 5 May.”
A new website has been launched to provide up to date information on the PCC election – visit http://www.avonpccelection2016.org.uk – with updates including key dates and how to vote. The list of candidates standing for election as PCC in the Avon and Somerset Police Area will be published on the website on Friday 8 April.
The Police and Crime Commissioner is responsible for overseeing how crime is tackled across the Avon and Somerset area and doing everything they can to make sure that the police are providing a good service. They do this by:
meeting the public regularly to listen to their views on policing;
producing a police and crime plan setting out local policing priorities;
deciding how the budget will be spent;
appointing Chief Constables and dismissing them if necessary.
Make sure you register to vote
You can vote at the PCC elections if you are registered to vote, are 18 or over on 5 May 2016 and are:
a British citizen;
a European citizen;
a Commonwealth citizen who has leave to remain in the UK or who does not require such leave.
British citizens living overseas and registered to vote as overseas electors are not entitled to vote in these elections (unless they are Crown servants or service voters).
If you are not yet registered at your current address, it’s quick and easy to do so online at http://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. Remember to have your National Insurance number handy. You must be registered to vote by Monday 18 April.
Could you be a Police and Crime Commissioner?
Are you interested in standing as a PCC candidate? The Police Area Returning Officer, who has responsibility for the administration of the election in the Avon and Somerset Police Area, will hold a briefing for prospective candidates and agents in the Guildhall, High Street, Bath BA1 5AW, at 2pm on Monday 21 March.
Information and advice, including the forms you need to complete and a timetable of events, can be found on the PCC 2016 election website www.avonpccelection2016.org.uk.