Police vote lacks legitimacy

First published in Letters

Sir – Conservative Cabinet minister Francis Maude previously said that official trade union strike ballots with a turnout of fewer than 20 per cent of union members should be banned for lacking democratic legitimacy.

With a turnout in the police and crime commissioner elections of less than 15 per cent (13 per cent in the Thames Valley) shouldn’t that mean, by the Government’s own standards, that these elections be declared null and void for lacking democratic legitimacy?

It really is a huge embarrassment for David Cameron that his flagship policy, the centrepiece of his government's reforms, has collapsed.

Most people remain baffled that he spent £100m of taxpayers’ money on these elections while at the same time cutting police funding by 20 per cent.

Meanwhile, morale in the police service itself is at an all-time low and the number of full-time officers is steadily decreasing.

But perhaps Mr Cameron will surprise us all by listening to the British people and abandon his plans to part-privatise vital police roles, including forensics, neighbourhood patrols and 999 call-handling. Enough is enough.

Andrew Coles (Cllr), Labour, Witney Central ward, West Oxfordshire District Council

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