Candidates back report on ‘shambolic’ PCC election

Top line-up: Horncastle's Maylor Fiona Martin is pictured with the four candidates in the race to become Lincolnshire's first police and crime commissioner elections, from left to right, David Bowles, Richard Davies, Paul Gleeson and Alan Hardwick. Photo: John Aron
Top line-up: Horncastle's Maylor Fiona Martin is pictured with the four candidates in the race to become Lincolnshire's first police and crime commissioner elections, from left to right, David Bowles, Richard Davies, Paul Gleeson and Alan Hardwick. Photo: John Aron
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Candidates in Lincolnshire’s first ever Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections have backed a report slamming the Government over its handling of the poll.

Victorious candidate Alan Hardwick and Paul Gleeson both agree with the findings of an Electoral Commission report claiming more should have been done to inform voters about the election last November.

The report published last week found that just over one in five people knew enough about PCC candidates in their area to make an informed decision on who to vote for.

Turnout nationally for the election was only 15 per cent, the lowest ever recorded for a peacetime non-local government election in the UK.

The commission said major changes need to be made before the next PCC elections in 2016, including a candidate information booklet being sent to every voter.

Jenny Watson, chairman of the Electoral Commission, said: “There were many different reasons why people didn’t vote last November and, like any election, there’s a limit to how much these can be addressed by decisions Government can make.

“But one of them was not knowing about the candidates and something can be done about that.”

Mr Hardwick said: “Right the way through the process of electing a PCC, the Electoral Commission expressed concerns at regular intervals.

“I think they were absolutely right to have concerns and I was disappointed that the Government didn’t do more to alert members of the public to the fact of the elections taking place.”

Labour candidate Paul Gleeson said: “The Government’s organisation of the election was shambolic and it failed to realise the scale of the task facing candidates in trying to contact electors in such a large area.”