High turnout for police commissioner vote in Chorley

Chorley’s turnout in the police commissioner poll was higher than the county and national averages but still less than a fifth of those eligible voted.

The new Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said he had a big task to undertake despite the disappointing 15.5 per cent turnout in Thursday’s poll.

The turnout for the Chorley borough was 18.45 per cent, with 15,050 votes cast.

The stage one results for the Chorley borough area were; Afzal Anwar (Liberal Democrat) - 968; Tim Ashton (Conservative) - 5,407, Rob Drobny (UKIP) - 1,862; Clive Grunshaw (Labour) - 6,500 and 313 spoilt papers. The overall result for Chorley borough, after second preferences were taken into account were Tim Ashton, - 6512 and Clive Grunshaw, - 7,394.

Fleetwood county councillor Mr Grunshaw, who will earn £85,000 a year, said: “This is not a desk job. I shall be getting out and about the county engaging with people.”

Mr Grunshaw, who takes up his post on November 21, will then set a budget after the government announces its cash settlement for Lancashire Constabulary next month.

He will decide how much the county force adds to council tax bills to finance itself, and produce a crime and policing plan setting out his priorities. He will also have powers to hire and fire the chief constable.

Mr Grunshaw said: “We have seen major budget cuts already and we do not know what the government will allow us to spend in future. We have seen cuts in officers numbers and I can give no assurances about jobs.

“It is going to be a difficult job but my number one priority is the safety and security of the people of Lancashire.

“I will focus on making this role a successful one, ensuring the public gets the best possible service from Lancashire Constabulary and protecting the frontline.”

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