I understand that the Conservative candidate to be the next Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent will be chosen on November 21st and that the following have been shortlisted.

  • Jo Gideon. A businesswoman also active with a number of charities she has lived in Kent since 2002. She stood in Scunthorpe at the General Election and has been a councillor in Thanet. I like her central message that the response to spending cuts should be radical reform in policing rather than defeatist moaning. She is also right to acknowledge the growing challenge of cyber crime.
  • Matthew Scott.  He stood in Leyton and Wanstead at the General Election. Previously he has been a councillor in Bexley – which in a bureaucratic sense is part of Greater London rather than Kent. Among his priorities is for the Kent police to do a better job coping with the mentally ill – including working more effectively with the NHS. Less impressive is his “aim to freeze the precept every year, unless a rise is necessary.” He does sound as though he would be one of those commissioners who would put his energy into complaining about not having enough money – rather than working to ensure the money is well spent
  • Gavin McKinnon. He is head of Corporate Communications for Kent Police and was previously involved with Policy Exchange.
  • Richard Bunting. The Deputy Chairman of the Ashford Conservatives, he has also been active with the Conservatives in Islington.

Last time round an independent candidate, Ann Barnes, was elected with a large majority. But she has not proved successful. So let’s hope that whoever is chosen as the Conservative candidate will be able to secure victory and thus a gain for the Conservatives.