Well, the votes are in, and Tim Starkey has been chosen to stand in the Thames Valley region as the Labour candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner. And the vote was a close one. Very close. In fact, he only beat Jon Harvey to the nomination by twenty-four votes.
In light of this, I feel incredibly vindicated saying back in May that they were both excellent candidates. Clearly there were a lot of Labour Party members who had as difficult a time making the decision as I did.
But the decision has been made, and as far as I’m aware Tim is the first confirmed candidate for Thames Valley. The Tories are still selecting — and, actually, it looks like they’re still searching for a stand-out candidate — the Lib Dems aren’t standing candidates, and I haven’t heard anything about smaller party and independent candidates.
During the selection campaign, both candidates sparkled with solid and exciting ideas, and I hope to see a manifesto emerging including the very best of those policies. In particular, Tim impressed me with his plan to restore police numbers to 2010 levels with a £4 increase in the police precept.
It is my belief that people are happy to pay taxes if they see the benefit to them. Declining police numbers under the Tory-led government are a real concern in the Thames Valley, and given the choice between a tiny tax increase or a dwindling police force, I think residents would choose the former.
Additionally, this has appeared on Twitter:
Congrats to Tim Starkey Lab PCC Candidate for Thames Valley. In court today prosecuting offence of child traffiking. Enough said.
— Caroline Flint (@CarolineFlintMP) June 18, 2012
So congratulations to Tim, commiseration to Jon, and let’s hit the campaign trail running!