Major office has negligible support

Fellow Sussex citizens will I’m sure wish Katy Bourne, the recently elected Police Commissioner for Sussex, well in the daunting tasks and responsibilities that will face her in this untried role.

Your report of Ms Bourne’s election, ‘Conservative Party candidate Katy Bourne stormed to victory in the elections on Thursday’ (page 11, West Sussex County Times, November 22), certainly gives us the bald election result together with some of Ms Bourne’s own comments upon her win.

However this is to put too kind a gloss upon a very unsatisfactory election.

According to the voting figures provided by the WSCT, only 15.82 per cent of the eligible electorate voted.

And furthermore, we find that Ms.Bourne was elected by only 32 per cent of those voting, ie by five per cent of the total Sussex electorate.

So here we have Sussex’s first Police Commissioner elected by a mere one in 20 of Sussex voters. The fact too that being elected as the Conservative Party’s candidate politicises the office in an exceedingly unrepresentative way.

Of those of us who did vote 68 per cent (129,601) voted for a non-Conservative candidate, ie over two-thirds of those who did actually vote, voted against the Conservative Party candidate even in spite of the fact that a second preference vote was allowed.

With the best will in the world, therefore, our new Police Commissioner cannot be said to represent the people of Sussex by popular consent.

So here, as elsewhere in the country, there seems to have been a far from satisfactory outcome from what must be deemed a failed national policy.

So that we now have someone elected with negligible popular support to a major office in the community, but who in due course will make decisions that will affect us all.

Is this really what the coalition Government calls local democracy in action?


Greenfields Way, Horsham