Police commissioner hopefuls to go head-to-head in debate
CANDIDATES vying to become the first Humberside police and crime commissioner will go head-to-head in a debate.
The Hull University Union's Politics Society is hosting the event, which will follow the style of the BBC's Question Time.
Labour candidate Lord Prescott and Conservative Matthew Grove have confirmed they will be attending the event on November 9.
Independent candidates Paul Davison, a former divisional commander of policing in the East Riding, former Tory MP Walter Sweeney and unemployed Neil Eyre will also be taking part.
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Organisers are still waiting for confirmation of whether UKIP candidate Godfrey Bloom and Liberal Democrat Simone Butterworth will attend.
Pippa Eveleigh, vice-president of community at the union, said: "This is a great opportunity for students at the University of Hull and the community to come together and vote on the candidate they feel will work with them to improve policing in Hull.
"This is a chance for everyone to question the future police and crime commissioners and to get answers before you make that all-important vote.
"We strive to develop our relations in the community and feel this is a perfect opportunity to do so and work united as one."
The commissioner will replace Humberside Police Authority, which is being abolished next month.
Whoever is elected will be responsible overseeing the Humberside Police's £180m budget and setting priorities for the force. One of their first tasks will be to replace Chief Constable Tim Hollis, who is retiring next year.
The debate will see the candidates answer set questions taken from audience members beforehand, with the audience then able to ask further questions.
Alistar Lamyman, general secretary of Hull University Politics Society, said: "We feel holding this event at the university will greatly increase the participation of the younger generations at the election.
"It also offers the public an excellent opportunity to assess the candidates with less than a week to go before the all-important votes are cast.
"The competition in this election is extremely close, and anything we can do to increase turnout could be all it takes to tip the balance in favour of one candidate."
Voting for the commissioner will take place on November 15, with the successful candidate starting work a week later.
Formal nominations for the role opened yesterday.
Candidates who wish to stand in the election must submit a nomination signed by 100 registered voters living in the force area.
They must also pay a £5,000 deposit, which will be returned if they secure more than five per cent of the votes.
The union's debate will take place in the Allam lecture theatre from 7.30pm and is open to the public.