Greenslade puts party aside in police election
THE Liberal Democrat leader of North Devon Council has ruled himself out of the bid to become the region's first elected police commissioner for his party.
Councillor Brian Greenslade said earlier this year that he was considering standing as an independent in the first police commissioner elections.
He said he wanted to see if he could get enough support to make a reasonable stab at securing the £85,000-a-year post independently, and never wanted to bring party politics into it.
The region's Lib Dems initially planned not to put forward a would-be commissioner.
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But the party's regional executive has now rubber-stamped the move, and the call has gone out to those wanting to stand under the party's banner in November's vote
Mr Greenslade said: "It is criminal to spend £75 million on these elections when police numbers are being cut.
"But, Parliament has taken a decision so we are where we are.
"The Lib Dems are looking for a candidate now but on this occasion I'm not going to be alongside them. I want to see if I can get enough support to make a reasonable stab at it as an independent. I've had positive signals that I should stand but it will take me a month or so to gather information."
Mr Greenslade, who is also a Devon county councillor, is head of the Liberal Democrat group on the Association of Police Authorities.
The police authority, which oversees policing, is being scrapped to make way for the US-style police and crime commissioner, plus a panel to act as a watchdog. Chief constables will still be in charge of operational policing.
Stand-alone elections for 41 new police commissioners, including one for Devon and Cornwall, are scheduled to take place later this year.
The Conservatives are drawing up a shortlist, with open elections planned for July, and Labour members in the two counties have two nominees to choose from.