Final countdown for commissioner hopefuls
CANDIDATES vying to be voted Derbyshire's first police and crime commissioner have one more day of campaigning before the public go to the polls.
Rod Hutton, Simon Spencer, David Gale and Alan Charles will all be using today to try to persuade voters to tick the box next to their name tomorrow.
The four men are hoping that the 700,000 eligible Derbyshire voters have listened to their election pledges and manifestos.
Following Friday's count at Alfreton Leisure Centre, whoever is successful will be in power for four years.
They will have powers including setting the council tax precept and hiring and firing the Chief Constable.
Mr Hutton is the only independent candidate for the £75,000-a-year role.
He said: "This campaign has been extremely enjoyable in getting around the different parts of the county and finding out the issues that affect different communities.
"The consistent message that I got from members of the public as I spoke to them in the street, knocked on their door or stood in the supermarket doorway is, 'We don't want a party politician for this role'.
"It was this message that made me put my hat into the ring, along with my time and money for the campaign.
"My hope and feeling is that this will translate into real votes in tomorrow's election. The public are looking at the candidates on this one and not the colour of their rosette."
Mr Gale represents UKIP. He said: "I'll be out and about in Derbyshire listening to the concerns of residents and making sure they understand what a great opportunity they have to make a real change and have policing led by someone who has the experience to make a difference.
"I am the only candidate with experience as a full-time operational police officer, who understands the benefits of old-style beat bobbies and modern neighbourhood policing, and who has a 25-year proven track record of strategic leadership in large public and private-sector organisations."
Mr Spencer is the Conservative candidate.
He said: "Everywhere I've been in Derbyshire, there has been huge support for my campaign.
"It is clear people understand what this role is all about.
"It is a hugely important development and a sea-change that will improve policing and public accountability – and I want to be leading that change for Derbyshire."
And Mr Charles represents the Labour Party.
He said: "I have met thousands of fantastic Derbyshire residents over the last six months and the overwhelming concern has been about the reduction of police officer numbers and Tory pressure to privatise police support services.
"The main thing I have learned is the way essential voluntary services like domestic violence support groups are desperately trying to find funds from the ever-decreasing pool of funds following Tory cuts.
"I will use the office of commissioner to try to find solutions to this and similar problems. Please use your vote tomorrow."