I volunteered previously, in October 2012. One of those appointed by the panel in 2012 didn’t attend any meetings of the panel for over a year, and didn’t respond to correspondence from the panel.
Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Panel appeared quite happy with the situation of a non-attending independent member as they didn’t act once he’d been absent for three months without consent as section 3.25a of the panel arrangements permitted, they waited until he had been absent for around five times that length of time (fifteen months) before acting to remove him. The panel only acted to remove their dud member following media interest. The removal of the previously appointed independent member created the current vacancy.
Police and Crime Panels were established by section 28 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011. Paragraph four of Schedule 6 of that act requires at least two independent (non-councillor) members to be appointed to the panel.
Quite why MPs thought councillors ought be joined by non-councillors on the panel isn’t clear, but that is the situation we have. My view is I’d rather have elected councillors fulfilling the role themselves, though allowing others to assist the panel, and use the panel’s powers, through routes such as:
- A functional and easily accessible public speaking slot at meetings (and a route for making contributions in writing for those who can’t, or don’t want to, attend in person).
- Co-opting those with a particular interest or expertise in a subject onto the panel for specific meetings, or specific agenda items.
That said, given there are seats on Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Panel for non-councillors and there are things which are lacking within the existing panel which I could bring I have volunteered. Primarily I think I can contribute an interest in the work of the Police and Crime Commissioner. Councillors have a wide range of responsibilities, often panel members are council leaders or have other significant roles in addition to their positions on the panel. A number of panel members have been open about not having the time, ability, or inclination to even read the information the commissioner proactively publishes on his website about his work.
There is a very high degree of absence and turnover among councillor members of the panel. Independent members can bring continuity; and I have been following the strategic oversight of policing in the force area since well before Police and Crime Commissioners came into existence.
Many of the councillor members of the panel are members of the same party as the Police and Crime Commissioner. I get the impression some think it rude, or not the done thing, to question the work of a fellow party member, even though the purpose of that questioning would be to seek to improve the job that is being done.
Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Panel – First Twenty Months
Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Panel has not got off to a great start in its first two years or so of operation. It started off in “shadow” form holding its meetings in private. Even the key first meeting between the Police and Crime Commissioner and members of the panel took place behind closed doors, despite my view, and apparently the view of the Home Office, being that holding such meetings in private was against the law.
When the panel held a confirmation hearing for the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner they questioned the candidate in public but then went into private session to consider the appointment. The panel didn’t clearly resolve to enter private session and didn’t explain why it was necessary. The panel didn’t return to public session, as I would have liked to have seen, to conclude its deliberations, and to vote on its recommendation. Astonishingly no record of the meeting held behind closed doors, or the vote reportedly held, has been published. The minutes don’t even record if decision made or if there was a vote. [Paragraph added 26 August].
Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Panel cancelled its first routine meeting citing “lack of business”; despite the meeting being scheduled for the January 2013 following the introduction of the role of commissioner in November 2012 and all the decisions the commissioner had taken in relation to the setting up of his approach, organisation and office being available to review. By that time there were also some substantive decisions directly impacting the policing of the area, such as those on call answering which had been made and the panel could have scrutinised.
One of the key meetings of the panel held to-date was held as a committee of the panel which met in private on the 15th of May 2014. That meeting considered the panel’s approach to its core role of scrutinising the commissioner’s decisions.
During the first two years or so of its operation the panel has struggled to keep its webpages up-to-date with basic information such as the identities of panel members and a functional contact address for the panel.
I think transparency and openness are key to the functioning of any public body.
Scrutiny of Police and Crime Commissioner’s Decisions
The panel has a duty, under Section 28(6)(a) of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 to:
review or scrutinise decisions made, or other action taken, by the relevant police and crime commissioner in connection with the discharge of the commissioner’s functions;
Cambridgeshire’s panel has decided to allow the Police and Crime Commissioner to decide which decisions it considers for scrutiny. Relatively few decisions have been reported by Cambridgeshire’s commissioner when compared to other commissioners and I’ve identified some decisions which have not been reported that I think the panel ought have considered.
The panel has recently issued an annual report in which it states “from June 2014 the following Policing Plan priorities will scrutinised in depth by theme at each meeting”. It will be interesting to see what actually happens under this proposal. I think its important that the focus within each theme is on the commissioners’ decisions and actions (or lack of them). I hope the consideration by “theme” doesn’t result in too much abstraction which loses the connection between subjects under discussion and the commissioner’s activities. I am concerned such disconnection between what is discussed and what the commissioner has done could be the aim of the new approach.
As I did in in October 2012 I am publishing my application here in the interests of transparency.
When I requested the details and application form from the panel I received the documents as presented to the July 2014 meeting of the panel.
I made the application despite my experiences of a rather hostile approach to contributions from the public at panel meetings and an expectation that the role will be a challenging and sometimes unpleasant one to fulfill. I think strategic oversight of policing and the wider crime and justice sector is a crucial element of our democratic society and that’s why I’m happy to volunteer to help ensure it is effective in any way I can. I hope I am making a significant positive impact through my activities currently, and want to offer to help in another way if the panel members want that.
Seven candidates applied for the two independent member seats on the panel in 2012; that was when the Police and Crime Commissioners were new. I think Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner and Police and Crime Panel have done very little and have had a very low profile so it will be interesting to see if the level of interest this time round reflects that.
Cambridge City Council’s website carried an advert for the role stating:
People from all sections of the community are encouraged to consider applying – you just need to be passionate about Cambridgeshire and want to make a real difference to local communities.
but the advert slipped in below the core content of the panel’s “Committee details” webpage stated they were looking for someone who:
has knowledge and skills in issues associated with policing and crime reduction, preventing crime and anti-social behaviour and working in partnership to tackle complex issues.
I don’t think the role is one which requires, or would be particularly suited to a professional working in the policing or justice sector. I think the appointment ought be made on merit on and the person the panel think will make the greatest contribution to helping the panel fulfill its role ought be appointed and I hope and expect that is what will occur.
Dear Mandy Long,
I am writing to volunteer to serve as one of the independent (non-councillor) members of Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Panel.
I would like my application to be considered primarily on the basis of the contributions to the panel’s work I have made using opportunity for “public participation” at public meetings of the panel.
The panel’s application form has been provided to me as an uneditable PDF. I have extracted the questions and addressed them below. I have on too many previous occasions when dealing with arms of state demonstrated my ability to print responses on to paper or PDF forms; I hope it is acceptable that I have chosen not to go through that time-consuming and futile exercise on this occasion.
I submitted my previous application for this role in this manner on the 26th of October 2012 and it appeared to be accepted for consideration. I am disappointed that given my comments then the panel has not updated its procedures.
I would like to note that for a voluntary role a deadline of 5pm on a Friday is unhelpful; especially given the likelihood public sector officers are not going to do anything with applications received until after the weekend.
Title (Mr/Mrs/Ms etc)
Name in full (please also give any other names by which you have been known)
I have never formally been known by any other name. I have used a wide variety of online usernames, most notably my Twitter username RTaylorUK, I do not hold a comprehensive list. At various times people have chosen to call me by nicknames, generally these have been abbreviations of my name.
Permanent home address
Milton Road, Cambridge [Details removed from online copy. Redactions to deter spam and identity theft]
How long have you lived at this address?
Since August 2012
If less than five years at this address, please give details of your previous address(es)
On the 19th of October 2012 I asked Peterborough City Council, who are providing the secretariat for the panel, why this information is being requested. I would like to know what is proposed, and further details of what is required, before deciding if to attempt to collate and provide the requested information or not.
Daytime telephone number
[Phone number as shown on the top of very page on this website]
Evening telephone number
[Phone number as shown on the top of very page on this website]
Mobile telephone number
[Phone number as shown on the top of very page on this website]
[Email address as shown on the top of very page on this website]
Date of birth
[Removed from online copy]
Please say whether there is any special provision, equipment or assistance we can provide to help you attend an interview
References: Please give details of two people, not related to you, who have agreed to be contacted by us about your application. It would be helpful if one referee was familiar with your community activities. We intend to take up references for shortlisted candidates prior to interview. If you do not wish us to contact your referees at that stage then please indicate this clearly.
I have not sought anyone’s agreement to support this application by providing a reference. I note I did publicly seek and provide contact details of individuals willing to provide such a reference in relation to my previous application.
Members of the panel are aware of the manner in which I have sought to contribute to the panel’s activities using the opportunities for “public participation” provided at meetings of the panel.
Please sign and date this form I declare that the information I have given is true and complete.
Signed ….Richard Taylor… Date …22 August 2014.. (I am happy to sign a printed version if required)
Equality monitoring questions
The information in this section will not form part of the recruitment process and will be separated from your application form upon receipt. The information provided will be used for monitoring purposes and to help us to develop our policies and practice. The information provided will be treated confidentially and be subject to the provisions under current equality and data protection legislation. You do not have to answer these questions. However, by answering the questions you will help us to make sure that our recruitment is fair and accessible to everyone.
I have taken the option offered of not answering these questions
What is your current employment status and occupation, if any?
I am employed as the director of my own company Sci7 Ltd.
Please give details of part-time and full-time employment, voluntary work, career breaks and any other work you do or have done in the local community. If you do not live in Cambridgeshire and/or have not done so during the past 12 months please include the main location of your work if this is different from your employer’s address.
Director of Cambridge based company, which initially specialised in commercial applications of life-science publication, grant, and bioinformatics data, and now also working with UK public sector information and political information.
Clients include many major suppliers of equipment and reagents to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, as well as consultancies, conference organisers, and those running specialist websites.
Work has also been carried out for mySociety, resulting in all votes since the 2010 general election being described and grouped to enable summaries of MPs’ voting positions to be displayed on TheyWorkForYou.com
Volunteer working on the freedom of information website WhatDoTheyKnow.com. Assisting users and helping develop and act on policies for dealing appropriately with requests to remove information from the site. Also tweeting and writing articles about the site and lobbying for improvements to Freedom of Information law.
Activism, Campaigning, Lobbying, Citizenship
Civic activities carried out in public, and recorded via rtaylor.co.uk and Twitter (RTaylorUK). Regular commentator on local and national matters with some degree of focus on the field of policing, crime and justice.
Cambridge Applied Polymers Ltd.
Working within the University of Cambridge for a spin-out company conducting commercial technology assessments and developing technologies for engineering functional microstructural formulations for biological materials. Working directly with major multinational clients. Appointed a Director in November 2005. Work resulted in a patent application entitled: Encapsulation of edible oil products and encapsulated edible oil products. No. WO2007034213 (2007)
University of Cambridge – Teaching
Supervisor: Small group teaching of natural science, medical, and veterinary undergraduates. Supervision of students carrying our laboratory based research projects.
University of Cambridge – Research
Novel formulations for complex biological therapeutics, including viruses, DNA, lipids and proteins. Working towards inhalable viral formulations with applications as gene therapy vectors and vaccines. Working closely with Nektar Therapeutics (formerly Bradford Particle Design, and Inhale Therapeutics) on particulate biological formulation using the company’s specialist techniques within their facilities, as well as with a number of companies based in the Cambridge area.
Please give details of any involvement in local community activities not already mentioned above
As an undergraduate student I was an elected representative and member of Imperial College Union council for two years.
I regularly attend and participate in local public meetings; including those of the Cambridge Cycling Campaign though I am not a member of that organisation.
Please list any academic, professional and/or vocational qualifications
Biochemistry BSc (2:1) Imperial College London. Final year courses: Bio-analytical Technology, Genetics and Genomics, Molecular Basis of Infection, Molecular Basis of Development. Research Project: Investigating membrane proteins of C.difficile, a human bacterial pathogen. Carried out at the Centre for Molecular Microbiology & Infection.
A grade A Levels in Maths, Chemistry, Biology and General Studies.
Required competencies, personal skills and qualities
Please give brief examples to demonstrate how you meet the following competencies
The ability to think strategically – To have breadth of vision – to rise above detail, and to see problems and issues from a wider, forward-looking perspective – and to make appropriate linkages.
When considering effectiveness of the Police and Crime Panel and putting forward suggestions for improvements I have focused on proposing systemic changes. For example I have noted the panel allows the commissioner to select those decisions which the panel are formally notified of. I have suggested the panel strengthens these arrangements by making clear to the commissioner which decisions the panel expects to have reported to them, and by being prepared to consider detailed scrutiny of matters the commissioner has not voluntarily drawn to the panel’s attention.
I have always sought to pitch my activities at the appropriate level. For example I would point to my lobbying related to the way Cambridgeshire Police, in 2008, stated they viewed the PACE codes merely as optional guidance rather than an important part of the law which they must follow. While my interest in this was initiated by a personal local experience I realised strategic issues at a force wide, and national level, were raised and pursued them via the Police Authority and MP, resulting in an important change in the force’s stated position.
The ability to make good judgements – To take a balanced, open-minded and objective approach – for example, in evaluating the priorities of the police and crime commissioner, assessing candidates for top level appointments or considering complaints against the police and crime commissioner.
I am a genuinely independently minded individual. I have no political party allegiance or religious or ideological beliefs which I consider would counter or distract from taking a balanced, open minded and objective approach to evaluating a police and crime plan’s priorities or commenting on candidates for senior appointments.
I am scientifically trained and numerate with experience of carrying out objective commercial technology assessments.
Though my volunteering with WhatDoTheyKnow.com I am routinely involved in making difficult judgements, along with other volunteers including the organisation’s trustees, about the publication of material we are asked to remove from the site including potentially defamatory material, personal information and materially accidentally released by public bodies. This involves coming to justified, balanced, judgements following consideration of, for example, the public interest, impact on individuals and legal risk.
The ability to be open to change – To be able to challenge accepted views constructively without becoming confrontational, and to recognise and respond positively to the need for change.
I have not viewed the panel’s rules of procedure, and practices, relating to public participation as set in stone. I think my activism aimed at ensuring the panel follows its own published rules, and extends them to enable the suggestion of items for scrutiny, the acceptance of questions raised by the agenda and papers for a meeting after the deadline for publishing that material.
I have been calmly persistent over many months in the face of the public participation element of panel meetings twice being brought to a close while I was in-front of the panel seeking to put a question, and a number of inaccurate answers to questions which have wrongly implied the basis of my questions were unfounded.
For a number of years now I have campaigned against the roll out of TASER to all front line police officers. That remains my view, but in light of the re-organisation of police forces and budget cuts reducing the availability of, and increasing the per-use cost of, armed response units I have adapted my views. The key thing for me is TASER ought not be routinely carried by large numbers of officers and those armed with them need to be suitably trained and experienced. My views on 20 mph limits and their enforcement have similarly developed over time in light of changing circumstances.
I am trained scientist, and have worked as a researcher and in the scientific field. Being appropriately sceptical of accepted views, being prepared to see such views overturned in light of new evidence is key to taking a scientific and analytical view of the world. I seek to take a such a rational view of the world, particularly in relation to public decisions, and hope my education and experience enables me to do that.
The ability to scrutinise and challenge – To be able to rigorously scrutinise and challenge constructively, using appropriate data, evidence and resources.
Scrutinising and challenging local elected representatives, including those on the Police and Crime Panel, is something I have been doing extensively over the last few years. I have always sought to do so while citing the sources of information, the articles on my website at rtaylor.co.uk demonstrate that. In the case of panel meetings I have filmed, and transcribed meetings to ensure evidence is available to support any comments and further actions.
As a member of the team at WhatDoTheyKnow.com I am an activist seeking to expand the amount of public sector evidence and data available, in an easily and authoritatively citable manner, to those wishing to scrutinise what is being done on their behalf by public bodies.
The ability to be analytical – To interpret and question complex written material – including financial and statistical information and other data such as performance measures – and identify the salient points.
My scientific training; as well as experience commenting on public sector statistics has led to me developing an ability to comment critically on information provided and identify what has been omitted. A key example is my lobbying relating to police phone answering data where I drew attention to how the performance data lacked key information such as by how much targets were being missed when they were not met.
I have experience in analysing financial information both relating to private companies I have been involved with and in the public sector since being a member of my student union council at Imperial College through to monitoring and commenting on the my local council’s performance and plans. I have followed, and commented in depth, the two recent significant financial mishaps at Cambridge City Council; in respect of Icelandic investments and significant losses related to Folk Festival ticketing.
I understand it would not be appropriate to use a position on the panel to pursue my my own views and ideas, but I think having developed my own position is helpful when it comes to assessing others’ proposals and performance.
The ability to communicate effectively – To be able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing – and to interact positively with other members of the Panel, the police and crime commissioner, and the public.
I regularly speak in public at committee meetings, public meetings and on the radio, and also often participate in meetings relating to my employment.
As someone who is passionate about democracy I have huge respect for democratically elected representatives such as councillors and the commissioner.
I routinely communicate everything I do related to public and civic matters via Twitter, in a succinct and timely manner. I publish further information, often both in bullet point, and in-depth form, on my own website. Both Twitter and my website are two way forms of communication via which I regularly enter public debate. I would intend, if appointed to the panel continue these activities and aim to be as open as possible about my activities in relation to it.
Please give brief examples to demonstrate the extent to which you possess the following personal skills and qualities
Team working – The ability to play an effective role in meetings through listening, persuading and showing respect for the views of others.
I was a co-opted member of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Safer and Stronger Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee in December 2011 and raised a number of issues, including continuing my lobbying for the release of more detailed police phone answering performance.
I believe I was invited to participate in the scrutiny committee as a result of effectively using the public speaking slot at public meetings.
In relation to volunteering on WhatDoTheyKnow.com; team meetings in relation to the running of that service involve those with different interests and perspectives. To provide a useful service to our users, requires open and collaborative discussion among those who would like to, for example take less legal risk, or conversely, publish more potentially problematic material, and reaching a position which while everyone will not agree on, has been collectively determined.
Self-confidence – The skill to challenge accepted views constructively without becoming confrontational.
I think a good example to cite here is the way I responded to councillors and officers at Huntingdonshire District Council’s full council on Wednesday the 26th of June 2013. I was seeking to film the meeting (the Police and Crime Commissioner was present which was my particular interest). Officers and the meeting’s chair were quite confrontational and told me I would not be allowed to film them meeting and even told me they were going to call the police but I calmly awaited the start of the meeting and when it came to it the chair decided to permit filming.
I have written about this exchange at:
My experience was cited by the Department for Communities and Local Government when they announced the signing of the new law permitting filming of local government meetings.
I don’t think that confrontation is something to always shy away from; I think robust debate is a necessary part of the democratic process and for us to decide how we are going to run society. I do not avoid discussing controversial topics, for example racial inequalities in police use of stop and search, even though that is an area, like many others, on which people hold such strong views that some degree of incoming confrontation is almost inevitable when engaging with them. In my view the appropriate response is to seek to remain calm, measured and rational. We cannot have areas which are critical to public policy which are no-go areas for open debate; there is a need in my view to tackle these issues for example through well run and moderated public contribution opportunities both in-person and online for the Police and Crime Panel.
Enthusiasm and drive – The ability to be proactive in seeking out learning and developmental opportunities to enhance knowledge and understanding (for example, on financial matters and statutory requirements).
I have sustained enthusiasm for democracy, openness and accountability over more than a decade since (and perhaps a little before) my time at university with involvement in the Students’ Union through to my current interest in democratic accountability and strategy setting in local policing.
I note my interest in the panel’s work has substantially exceeded that of one of the individuals the panel initially appointed as an independent member.
This question probably alludes to training of panel members. I would be very keen to take any opportunities to extend my knowledge; though I consider there is a need to be sceptical about the quality and intent of those providing training and advice. It is often useful to be taken through something by experts and that can speed up a learning process but there is a need to verify key information from original sources.
Respect for others – The capacity to treat all people fairly and with respect, to value diversity and respond sensitively to difference.
I think it is important that anyone with a public role makes clear that they want to see everyone treated equally by the state irrespective of factors such as race or age when those factors are irrelevant.
People in Cambridgeshire have very diverse religions, cultures, means, and ways of life. I think the key thing in in respect of policing is that everyone must be treated equally under the law.
I would say people need to be treated with due respect; I do not for example think that challenging or asking probing questions when appropriate is disrespectful, however others can, and do, disagree.
Integrity – The necessity to embrace high standards of conduct and ethics and be committed to upholding human rights and equality of opportunity for all.
I agree with the importance of high standards of conduct and ethics and broadly with upholding human rights and equality of opportunity for all. In the latter case I think what’s important is meritocracy.
Human rights can be a complex subject. Are my human rights breached by the fact we have a hereditary monarch and I cannot have a say in who ultimately rules the country in which I live? Is it a breach of someone’s human rights to prevent them committing suicide?
I would like to see all those holding positions of authority and responsibility subscribing to the “Nolan Principles” on standards in public life; I have promoted this view in relation to the University of Cambridge and a Students’ Union.
Decisiveness – The ability to show resilience even in challenging circumstances, remaining calm and confident and able to make difficult decisions.
As someone who regularly comments on civic and public matters I often come to a view, make that public, and defend and enter into debate in relation to it. I think this is something which we need as a society to encourage more of, so there is more open debate about the way our public services and society as a whole operates.
I have already in this application referred to my experiences volunteering with WhatDoTheyKnow.com and in seeking to film Huntingdonshire District Council which I think demonstrate the abilities sought here.
Please give details of your experience (in a paid or unpaid role) in community safety, victim support, criminal justice and related issues
I have attended, and expressed views on local police priority setting meetings across the Cambridgeshire Police Force Area including: Ely, Wisbech, Bassingbourne and Melbourn, North Cambridge, Sawston, Orton Goldhay, Peterborough, East Cambridge, South Cambridge, Histon, Impington, Cottenham, Milton, Chittering, Oakington and Waterbeach, Barton, Bourn, Caldecote, Cambourne, Caxton, Comberton, Coton, Croxton, Eltisley and Granchester and West/Central Cambridge.
On a number of occasions I have spent time at Cambridge Magistrate’s court; and have commented and lobbied on the basis of my experiences. I have also served on Crown Court juries in Cambridge. In January 2010 I attended the Royal Courts of Justice to personally witness, report and comment on, the start of the first modern criminal trial in the UK where the defendants have been denied a jury.
I have sought to find out and follow, publicise and comment on, how policing and crime related decisions are made across the public sector. I have attended, and used the public speaking slot to participate in, many meetings of Cambridge’s Community Safety Partnership. Where the existence of other partnership’s meetings in Cambridgeshire have been revealed I’ve taken the opportunity to point out they are not open to the public and explain how this is a problem even for example for councillors. When the chair of the Police and Crime Panel has suggested people look at the work of their local Community Safety Partnerships I pointed out the difficulties caused by their meeting in private.
Why do you want to be a co-opted independent member? Please say why you are interested in becoming a co-opted independent member of the Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Panel
In my view the panel to-date has done little, if anything, more than it is required to by law. It has has not used its powers, and influence, on behalf of the people of Cambridgeshire to hold our police and crime commissioner to account, to ensure what the commissioner is doing is made public, and to assist the commissioner in the fulfilment of his duties.
Existing panel members have not taken a significant interest in the work of the commissioner. In July 2014 we had the chair of the Police and Crime Panel asking if the commissioner held his business coordination board meetings in public, apparently genuinely unaware they were held in private. We have seen panel members showing repeatedly they have not even been following what the commissioner publishes on his website. There have been poor attendance records from many panel members, there has also been a high turnover of members. I think I can bring a level of interest in the subject matter of the panel’s work lacking in many of its current members. I have taken an interest in local policing and related matters for a number of years, and this appointment is for four years, so I expect I would also be able to bring a degree of continuity and memory, to the panel’s operations.
My campaigning, activism and volunteering is driven by a desire to live in a meritocratic society with a thriving representative democracy where civil liberties are protected.
Significant changes to policing locally and nationally are underway. I’m volunteering to offer to help shape this new environment in a more direct and effective manner than I would expect to be able to from outside the panel.
I would like to see the openness and transparency in the oversight of local policing improve. Transparency is in my view an essential element of democracy; without it the electorate cannot determine how their elected representatives are performing.
I want to see an effective Police and Crime Panel, assisting the commissioner in areas such as monitoring police performance as well as providing constructive criticism and scrutiny during the course of the commissioner’s period in office. I’m putting myself forward to offer to help achieve that.
Other information If you are employed, is your employer willing release you to carry out the duties of a co- opted independent member of the Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Panel?
I am employed by my own company which I wholly own so this is not particularly relevant. I will make myself available to carry our the duties of the role if appointed.
Do you hold, or have recently held, any of the following positions?
A member of the civilian staff of the Cambridgeshire police force A Member of Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, the Scottish Parliament or the European Parliament A Member of any of the County, District or Unitary councils in Cambridgeshire A police officer
If yes, please give details.
Is there anything in your private or working life, or in your past, or, to your knowledge, in that of any member of your family or close friends, which, if it became generally known, might bring you or the Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Panel into disrepute, or call into question your integrity, authority or standing as a member of the Panel? If yes, please give details.
Not in my view, no. There is nothing in my view, of relevance to a public position such as this, which is not already openly published on my website.
Prior to the election of the Police and Crime Commissioner in 201
02 I commented publicly on a number of commissioner candidates made my own views public on what I think Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner should do, something which prompted a number of people to offer to nominate me to stand, many offering to help with a deposit too.
I have thought about who else I’d like to see panel members consider for the role. Our local journalists take an interest in the role of the commissioner so perhaps Raymond Brown from the Cambridge News or Paul Stainton from BBC Cambridgeshire would be good in the role? Perhaps it would suit a retired journalist?
This is an unpaid voluntary role; for which some expenses may be paid. Expenses for the independent members are capped at £920 per year. According to decisions taken in private by the shadow panel any expenses claims have to be submitted through the panel and “only basic expenses should be reimbursed”.
In practice the only expense involved I expect is travel to meeting venues in Cambridgeshire; ie. either public transport or driving and parking.