The Labour Party is active in all 16 constituencies in West and East Sussex.  Our candidate Michael Jones gained 86,392 votes in the election for Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner.

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Michael Jones was joined by senior Labour representatives from across Sussex when he criticised the cancellation of the regular meeting of the Sussex Police and Crime Panel, which is supposed to put the current Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner to account.

The Sussex Police and Crime Panel was scheduled to meet on Friday, 22nd April in Lewes, but panel members were notified by the Clerk to the Panel (without consultation with the members) that the meeting had been cancelled.  That means that the Tory Commissioner Katy Bourne will only have been held to account three times for the entire year, despite her significant role in police governance. 

The Sussex Police and Crime Panel only has an annual budget of £72,000 a year to hold to account the Commissioner and her office, with its annual current cost of over £1.2 million.

Only in the Tory party's vision of democracy do we have less scrutiny of an elected representative as influential as the PCC in election year.

This is a failure in scrutiny, and one of the major weaknesses of the Government's system of PCCs, which is seriously in need of reform. We need to bring policing closer to the real views of Sussex people, and one of my priorities if elected as Sussex's PCC would be to see that through.

The current poor levels of public participation at the meetings of the Panel speaks volumes. There are rarely questions raised and the public are only allowed to ask questions in person at one meeting a year, which few take up.

Until people feel included, and the system works more successfully, they will continue to vote with their feet.

Other Labour members of the Sussex-wide panel have endorsed these views. 

Councillor Emma Daniel, Chair of the Neighbourhoods, Communities and Equalities committee at Brighton and Hove City Council said:

"No-one asked us as panel members whether we agreed to the cancellation, which I think is rather high-handed. There's plenty I wanted to ask the PCC about how she is causing the planned significant cuts to my local PCSOs and neighbourhood policing teams recently revealed, but she appears to have escaped that. Brighton and Hove,and Sussex as a whole will suffer for that lack of challenge."

And Councillor Warren Davies, Cabinet Member for Environment, Leisure and Amenities at Hastings Borough Council added:

"This lack of accountability is embarrassing. Running the Police, and issues of crime, are things that directly impact on every man, woman and child in Sussex. Yet we only get four opportunities a year to raise this on behalf of our residents, and now even fewer this year. It's a farce."

 

Last chance for scrutiny scrapped

Michael Jones was joined by senior Labour representatives from across Sussex when he criticised the cancellation of the regular meeting of the Sussex Police and Crime Panel, which is supposed...
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On a visit to Worthing and Adur this week, Michael had a chance to see the surge in activity and the explosion in volunteers as a "significant sea change" in the politics of this part of West Sussex.

• Membership numbers in Worthing and Adur has trebled since the General Election, and as local Worthing people reacted to the result and impact of the first majority Tory Government in 18 years;

• The local Worthing and Adur Labour parties have embarked on an ambitious campaign, taking the message to residents directly, on the doorstep;

• Activists are reporting a real hunger for fresh people to be elected to their local councils, to revive Worthing and Adur's stale austerity politics.

There is an alternative this time. For those in the Worthing area who don't want the Tories, I've been bowled over by the enthusiasm and strength of feeling of the local Labour campaign which surpasses anything I have seen before. This surge of activity in Worthing and Adur has brought a Renaissance for the local party that I haven't seen in 20 years. We’re hearing from more people than ever before that they’re voting Labour locally this time.

Labour candidate for the Heene ward of Worthing Borough Council, Jim Deen, attributed the surge of good faith in some part to national change:

"Worthing people like and respect authenticity and honest politics. That's why I think the new leadership are appealing so much locally, and it reflects the values they identify with.

"It would be wonderful to see this popular feeling help deliver some Labour councillors, something the Borough has been crying out for, for decades."

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A Labour surge in Adur and Worthing

On a visit to Worthing and Adur this week, Michael had a chance to see the surge in activity and the explosion in volunteers as a "significant sea change" in the...
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Michael Jones and Angela Smith

Labour members and shadow Leader of the House of Lords Baroness Smith of Basildon joined the party’s candidate for the upcoming Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner elections, Michael Jones this week for the local campaign launch in Bognor Regis.

Labour launched the PCC campaign for Bognor Regis outside the Town Hall with promises to stem the cuts to Police Officers and PCSOs locally, and a pledge to ensure local concerns in the town, including tackling issues of street drinkers, are given the resources to properly address the incidents.

Michael Jones could be decribed as the truly local choice for Bognor residents. He grew up in Bognor Regis and lived in the town until 2008 and now lives in Crawley. By then he had built up a strong record as a committed campaigner for the town, working for the best interests of residents. He was elected as a Labour county councillor for the Hotham and Orchard wards of town in 2001, and was the Parliamentary candidate in Bognor Regis in the 2010 General Election.

Michael received both national and local endorsements at the Bognor launch event from Baroness (Angela) Smith, shadow Leader of the House of Lords and Bognor resident, and from twice former Town Mayor Roger Nash, who was also Chairman of Bognor Neighbourhood Watch for seven years.

Angela Smith said:   “I think even the most ardent Tory voter would be appalled if they were aware of the true extent of the cuts in Sussex Police numbers overseen by the current Tory PCC. Labour’s front bench has made clear there is a real choice between having ‘Bobbies on the Beat’ and the Tories’ cuts, at this election.

“Residents in Bognor Regis and across Sussex must send a message to the Tories that they won’t tolerate such low levels of policing.”

Michael Jones thanked members, saying:   “It’s been a fantastic turnout to support me, I’m very grateful for that, and I hope that Bognor residents will give me their backing too. Bognor is a beautiful town, and I won’t stand by and let the Tories take risks with public safety without a struggle.”

Bognor Regis launch with Baroness Smith

Labour members and shadow Leader of the House of Lords Baroness Smith of Basildon joined the party’s candidate for the upcoming Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner elections, Michael Jones this...
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Michael Jones with Peter Kyle MP

Michael Jones attended a meeting of Labour supporters from Brighton and Hove at the weekend, where he received the   endorsement of Hove MP Peter Kyle, Brighton and Hove Labour council leader Warren Morgan and dozens of local councillors, members and supporters for his campaign in the upcoming elections to unseat the current Tory Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner.

At the meeting, Michael vowed to work with the senior ranks of Sussex Police to reverse the savage reductions being inflicted to PCSOs and police officers in the City currently proposed under the Tory PCC’s budget, if elected as PCC. He also vowed to take measures in close consultation with local LGBT and BAME groups to address the reasons for the concerning levels of under-reporting of hate crime, acknowledged by Sussex Police itself.

Peter Kyle MP said:  "Michael’s background and experience is exactly what we want from our Commissioner. We need someone with the skills to be able target policing where we need it – including back patrolling our communities and giving attention back to anti-social behaviour and car crime.

“I’ll be voting for Michael because he has the strength, knowledge and experience to put residents’ interests first on policing, and start working on day one.”

Brighton and Hove launch with Peter Kyle

Michael Jones attended a meeting of Labour supporters from Brighton and Hove at the weekend, where he received the   endorsement of Hove MP Peter Kyle, Brighton and Hove Labour...
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Labour in Sussex

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