The General Election last week gave a pretty clear message that the British people do not want higher taxes. Nor do they equate the level of spending on public services with the quality of public services.

But if that verdict was unclear to anyone then we have some confirmation from Bedfordshire. In that county Labour’s Police and Crime Commissioner Olly Martins proposed an increase in his precept, his share of the Council Tax to 15.85 per cent.

Across the whole of Bedfordshire there were 91,086 in support of the rise and 207,551 against, with a turnout of 64.11 per cent.

So that was a rejection of more than two to one.

The result is hardly a surprise. Mr Martins spent Council Taxpayers money on an opinion poll should indicated strong opposition. Then he went ahead with the referendum anyway.

As a Commissioner his spending has been profligate and his performance poor. There has been little serious effort to achieve the efficiencies through joint working that police forces have made elsewhere.

In wasting money on this referendum Mr Martins deserved to be defeated. I hope he will be voted out on May 6th next year so that Bedfordshire can have a Commissioner serious about fighting crime and achieving value for money.