Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, today (16th November 2012) criticised the Coalition Government in what he described as “a waste of taxpayers’ money” after one of their flagship policies – elected Police and Crime Commissioners – received record low turnouts for the election.
“Up and down the country public services are being systematically eroded away by Government cuts yet they have saw fit to waste £100 million on these elections that, by all reports so far, have received very little public support. It raises serious concerns over the legitimacy of the role and over Government priorities when public finances are stretched.
“In Redcar and Cleveland alone the election cost £180,000 and the local authority is one of the hardest hit by Government cuts yet the turnout was only approximately 13%. It’s a clear indication that these commissioners are unwanted by the public and it was repeatedly pointed out that the Government had run the election abysmally with very little information provided.
“At a time when frontline police are being cut, hospitals and libraries are under threat and SureStart centres are at risk it is a disgrace such an obscene amount of money has been spent on this election. The turnout figures are a clear message for the Government. They should look at what has taken place and, in future, actually think through their policies before they waste any more money from the public purse that would be better used to protect frontline services.”