We are to have elections over here in England as well. On 15 November people outside London will have the opportunity for the first time to vote for Police and Crime Commissioners. Each police force - there are, I think, 41 or 42 in England and Wales outside London - is to have a PCC. This is a new position and the role includes (here I quote from a leaflet recently distributed to each home)
- meeting the public regularly to listen to their views on policing
- producing a police and crime plan settig out local policing priorities
- deciding how the budget will be spent
- appointing Chief Constables and dismissing them if needed.
As yet, we don't yet know who the candidates are: their names will not be available to the general public until 26 October. I have a sneaking suspicion that very few of the candidates will be known to the electorate although most of them will be from one of the three or four main political parties. The PCC is supposed to be non-political but the cynic in me once again protests: independent candidates will be unable to afford the cost of canvassing. I did read that one-time-deputy prime minister John Prescott is a candidate for one police force. If that's the standard we can expect, Heaven help us!
The Grand Café du Commerce stands at the crossroads in the centre of Pouancé with a narrow, one-way road running alongside the bar and through the medieval Port Angevine.