These are the candidates in what may be tight race in police elections for Harrogate and North Yorkshire

The battle lines are starting to be drawn up in what may become the most hotly-contested election for North Yorkshire’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner since the role was first introduced in 2012.

Monday, 22nd February 2021, 2:04 pm
Lib Dem candidate James Barker who is standing in North Yorkshire’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner elections this year.
Lib Dem candidate James Barker who is standing in North Yorkshire’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner elections this year.

The PFCC election will be held in the face of a pandemic which forced its initial postponement last year.

This year’s race will see four candidates standing on the big day on May 6 - Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem and a former police officer who is standing as an independent.

Independent candidate Keith Tordoff MBE who is standing in North Yorkshire’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner elections this year.

As the debate gathers pace on the road to May, it may turn out to be significant that the result was closer at the last North Yorkshire PFCC election in 2016 than many might assume,

Conservative Julia Mulligan edging out Labour’s Stephen Howley by 11,940 votes to 10,408.

The 2021 North Yorkshire’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner election line-up is:

Conservative

Philip Allott:

Yorkshire born and bred, Philip Allott was educated at King James’ School Knaresborough, and studied law in Leeds.

He is the managing director of Knaresborough-based Allott and Associates Ltd a specialist PR and B2B marketing agency, which he founded in 1993 and operates globally.

Labour

Alison Hume:

A York-based lecturer and award-winning British TV writer, Alison Hume is the parent of a child with complex disabilities and has been a disability campaigner for 20 years.

In the 2019 European Parliament election, she stood as a candidate for the Labour Party in the Yorkshire and Humber constituency.

Lib Dem

James Barker:

A York-based former RAF officer who was deployed to Iraq three times, James Barker is now an RAF reservist.

He is also a scout leader, a qualified rugby coach and as of May 2019 a City of York Councillor where he sits on main planning and licencing.

Independent

Keith Tordoff MBE:

Keith Tordoff served with the police in Leeds for 20 years as part of CID before retiring to become, firstly, a bank investigator and, then, a successful businessman.

He was chair of Nidderdale Chamber of Trade and in 2018 was awarded the MBE for service to businesses and the community of Nidderdale.

The campaign may have scarcely started but divisions are starting to appear in the battle to replace incumbent, Conservative Julia Mulligan, who successfully brought North Yorkshire Fire Service under her governance after being re-elected in 2016 but decided not to stand for re-election in 2019.

With pressures on budgets unlikely to disappear for North Yorkshire’s emergency services even after the country is clear of the pandemic, the candidates have got plenty to talk about this time in what has previously been a rather sedate election with a turnout as low as 22% in 2016 - which was still higher than 2012’s 13.3% of the electorate.

The main issues raised by the four candidates so far include:

The introduction of ‘multi-service’ officers;

Sentences for rural crime;

Travelling crime and county lines crime;

Relocation of Pateley Bridge’s police station;

Cost-cutting measures and efficiences;

Rising assaults on emergency officers;

Lack of public access to police stations.

Conservative Philip Allott has committed himself to the deployment of multi-service officers in rural areas as a priority for him, after the recent success of a pilot programme in Craven involving multi-service officers who combine the roles of a reserve firefighter, a member of the local policing team and a medical first responder pending the arrival of an ambulance.

Mr Allott said: “I am delighted with the initial success in Craven which means that I feel confident in supporting its rollout elsewhere in the more rural parts of North Yorkshire.

But in an early example of the divide in opinions between the three candidates, his support for a decision by the present PFCC to move police officers in Pateley Bridge from their current station on King Street to the Harrogate Borough Council offices across the road - to provide a more modern base and save money - have been met with disagreement from his opponents.

Labour’s Alison Hume said: “The closure of yet another dedicated police station is the latest in a long line of police estate sales needed to plug the huge gap in funding for our police service here.”

Independent Keith Tordoff MBE said the move was expected but questioned why the new base would still not be open to local people in this small Dales town.

Lib Dem James Barker says his main priorities will be more visible policing in North Yorkshire, working with the police and fire services in a collaborative manner to ensure the very best value for money and working within education, mental health, social work and other local services, so that people can build lives free from crime.

North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner elections in North Yorkshire, May 6, 2021

The candidates

Conservative: Philip Allott

Labour: Alison Hume

Independent: Keith Tordoff MBE.

Lib Dem: James Barker.

Last time around: Result of 2016 election for North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

First Choice Voting: Conservative 53,078 Labour 34,351 Independent 30,984 LibDem 13,856

As no candidate won over 50%, the second preferences of the Independent and LibDem candidates were distributed to the two leading candidates, giving this final result:

Conservative 65,018

Labour 44,759

Factfile: What the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner does

The North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) elections will take place on Thursday, May 6; the same day as the North Yorkshire County Council Elections.

PFCCs are elected every four years and are elected representatives who oversee a police force and fire service area.

There will be one PFCC elected for all of North Yorkshire.

The winner will replace the current commissioner Julia Mulligan, who has come to the end of her term.

The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire is responsible for holding the Chief Constable to account and ensuring that the best policing service possible is delivered to the people of North Yorkshire and the City of York.

The North Yorkshire Police Authority was abolished on November 22, 2012 and replaced with one directly-elected individual called a Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

Julia Mulligan was elected to this position, and has been re-elected since.

On November 15, 2018, responsibility for governance and oversight of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service transferred to the Commissioner, whose title changed as a consequence to become the North Yorkshire Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner (PFCC).

Whilst the Chief Constable retains independence regarding operational policing decisions, the PFCC is responsible for ensuring that resources are used efficiently and effectively and will hold the Chief Constable to account.

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