Last Thursday night I went to listen to the five Candidates for Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales take part in the TCC (an influential lobbying group) Accountability Meeting.
The candidates had been provided with 4 questions in advance of the meeting and then audience questions.
The structure of the meeting did not allow robust challenge to candidates answers which gave them the opportunity to provide populist answers to please the audience rather than pragmatic practical answers.
Richard Hibbs an independent candidate promised every household a £20 council tax rebate out of Police reserves.
Warwick Nicholson the UKIP candidate and ex cop harked back to the glory days when he joined in 1964 and gave the impression that he wished to return to the so called Dixon halcyon days
which is all very romantic but not really practical.
The third candidate was Colm McCabe the Conservative who came over as very affable with his soft Irish lilt; his answers though left a great deal to be desired. A question was asked about outsourcing police services and Colm adamantly opposed such outsourcing despite his government's support for private sector involvement in public services. In all honesty he sounded too good to be true.
In my opinion the three candidates mentioned are lightweight and inexperienced and not up to the job of Police Commissioner.
The two remaining candidates, Labour's Tal Michael and the independent Winston Roddick are both competent and experienced public servants with wide experience of Policing and criminal justice.
Both candidates provided excellent answers but with Tal Michael ahead on points; this is however unsurprising as Tal was Chief Executive of North Wales Police Authority until March this year and there was a certain expectation of him. Winston Roddick on the other hand, had an air of authority about him and he was more statesmanlike.
The crunch for me and the deciding factor was the difference between a candidate with political affiliations and an independent candidate, I just don't believe a political candidate can demonstrate the same impartiality as an independent candidate.
That is why I will be voting for Winston Roddick.