PCC in the firing line as Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls visits Lincoln

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls announced that a Labour government would scrap the role of the Police and Crime Commissioner on a visit to Lincoln engineering firm Bifrangi.

The Shadow Chancellor was given a tour of the manufacturing company which has invested £50m in the local economy, and employs around 100 members of staff.

Balls, who replaced Alan Johnson as Shadow Chancellor in January 2011, revealed that the role of the Police and Crime Commissioner would be removed under a Labour government.

He also spoke in depth about Labour’s plans for business, their economic credentials and the budget cuts it would make in the next Parliament.

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

He said: “We’ll scrap elections for the Police and Crime Commissioners because they’re costing millions of pounds and they’re not doing the job.

“That’ll stop us losing more police next year, and then we’ve got further plans to get police forces to work together to make savings which can continue to safeguard frontline policing.

“It matters for young and old people to feel safe in the streets and we can’t go back to the days of police numbers we saw 20, 30 and 40 years ago.

“We can find ways of making efficiency savings in policing without needing to lose neighbourhood police officers that the Tories have done.”

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The Shadow Chancellor was joined on the tour by Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Lincoln, Lucy Rigby, as they spoke to employees and apprentices at the firm.

She added: “One of the things that we’ve been talking about a lot in Lincoln has been our police force. The first duty of any government is to keep the population safe.

“The Chief Constable Neil Rhodes has made it very clear that the policing changes the Conservatives want to make in the next Parliament simply won’t wash – the police just can’t afford to make those cuts without getting rid of a huge number of frontline officers.

“Labour’s plan is to make savings in the police budget by scrapping things like the hugely expensive and wasteful Police and Crime Commissioner role. If you put that money into frontline policing, you don’t have to cut the number of police officers.”

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick was unavailable for comment when contacted by The Lincolnite.