Welsh Labour to name police commissioner candidates
Published: 18th Jun 2012 06:59:59
Labour is set to unveil its full slate of candidates to become Wales' first elected police and crime commissioners.
The party initially opposed creating the posts, which will replace police authorities, but is putting up candidates for all four Welsh forces.
Cardiff South and Penarth MP Alun Michael wants to be nominated as Labour's candidate for South Wales but he faces competition from former detective Paul Cannon.
Elections will be held on 15 November.
Commissioners will be responsible for setting budgets and council tax precepts. They will also have the power to hire and fire chief constables.
On Monday Labour will announce who wants to stand for the party in the South Wales, Gwent and North Wales Police areas. Former Welsh government agriculture minister Christine Gwyther will contest Dyfed-Powys.
If nominated, former Mr Michael - who was the Welsh assembly's first leader, and a former Home Office ministe - will stand down as an MP, causing a by-election.
Rhondda councillor Mr Cannon has the support of some influential figures, including Welsh government cabinet ministers Leighton Andrews - the Rhondda AM - and Edwina Hart.
The UK government says replacing police authorities with elected commissioners in Wales and England, outside London, will make the police more accountable.
The Conservatives are seeking to contest all four posts and want to get as many candidates selected as possible by the end of next month.
This is going to be an incredibly challenging role”
Plaid Cymru has said it will back non-party candidates who support devolving police powers.
Liberal Democrat members standing in the elections will not receive party funding.
Home Secretary Theresa May has said she hopes to see more independent candidates such as Falklands veteran Simon Weston, who will run for South Wales Police commissioner.
Prof Martin Innes, director of the Police Science Institute at Cardiff University, said he was optimistic the reforms would work, despite the challenge of a public spending squeeze.
"I think one of the things to say about looking forward is this is going to be an incredibly challenging role," he said.
"There's been lots of debate about politicisation and what could go wrong with it.
"But actually we know that public services are going to see reductions in funding and it's going to be very difficult, I think, for any police and crime commissioner to square, if you like, public demand for policing and the resources that they have actually got available."
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Welsh Labour to name police commissioner candidates. [Online] (Updated 18 Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news.php/1435216-Welsh-Labour-to-name-police-commissioner-candidates [Accessed 18th May 2013]
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