A Brighton school governor has been chosen by the Conservatives as their candidate to be the first police and crime commissioner of Sussex.
Katy Bourne, 47, a governor of Roedean and a councillor in Mid Sussex, was chosen this afternoon (Saturday 14 July) to contest the election in November.
Mr Chisnall, 51, is a community activist who lives in Brighton. He is the chairman of Sussex Central YMCA and works for Churches Together in Sussex, a network of a thousand churches. He also set up Fare Share, the food recycling project in Brighton, and helped set up the Brighton Street Pastors scheme.
Mrs Bourne defeated two rivals in the final selection meeting today – East Sussex County Council leader Peter Jones and Anthony Kimber, a retired Army officer from Rye.
The result was seen by some within the party as a victory for modernisation as the police and crime commissioner will replace Sussex Police Authority.
Mrs Bourne, a married mother of two who lives in Ansty, went to Roedean school in Brighton before attending the University of Wales in Aberystwyth. She has since become a governor of Roedean although the word has a broader meaning there.
On her campaign website she said: “Help me put the community back into policing and make us all ‘Safer in Sussex’.”
After her selection she said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have been selected as the Conservative candidate.
“I put myself forward for the role because I care about our community and because I believe every resident of Sussex has the right to safe on the streets and in their own homes.
“Under my leadership Sussex Police will be truly accountable to local people which they haven’t been in the past.
“Most people haven’t heard of the police authority and don’t know what it does.
“This is a great opportunity for people. This is what the localism agenda is all about.”
The role of the commissioner will be to
- set the priorities for Sussex Police by producing a police and crime plan
- set the annual force budget in consultation with the chief constable
- set the council tax precept for the police
- hold the chief constable to account for the performance of the force
Brighton Kemptown MP Simon Kirby said: “Katy will be an excellent candidate for this very important job.
“She knows Brighton and Hove well and I am sure that she will give it her all.”
Mrs Bourne was chosen at a meeting in Burgess Hill today and will contest the election on Thursday 15 November – four months from tomorrow.
Mr Chisnall, who said that he had met Mrs Bourne twice, welcomed her selection and said that she would bring a fresh perspective to the campaign.
Despite this, he said that he did not believe that many people in Sussex wanted the involvement of political parties in the election of police and crime commissioners.
He said: “After many months of uncertainty among the political parties it is helpful to know who the Conservative Party have chosen as their candidate.
“It’s good news for the residents of Sussex, who only have four months to make up their minds before they vote.
“I have visited lots of community groups and met hundreds of people from across Sussex since I put myself forward as a candidate in February.
“One of the most common comments has been ‘I have never heard of this before’.
“It is so important that the voting public understand what the job of police and crime commissioner is about and just as important that they know about the people they are voting for.
“I hope now there are at least three of us talking about this across Sussex, residents will hear and learn more about what is planned for the autumn.”