Coventry & Warwickshire

Warwickshire PCC election: Independent Ron Ball wins

Independent Ron Ball has won the election to be Warwickshire's first police and crime commissioner (PCC).

After the second round of counting, Mr Ball gained 33,231 votes, compared with 25,200 for Labour's James Plaskitt.

With a £65,000 salary, the PCC will work with the chief constable to set priorities and allocate the budget.

Mr Ball will be responsible for holding the force to account and is due to take over from the police authority on 22 November.

He is expected to work closely with the PCC in West Mercia after the two forces announced a "strategic partnership" in a bid to save a combined £30m over the next four years.

After a close first round, Mr Plaskitt led Mr Ball by just 898 votes.

Under the supplementary voting system, Fraser Pithie's (Conservative) 20,571 votes were counted again to allocate his voters' second choices.

Not political role

Mr Ball, a former aircraft pilot, decided to stand for the election because he believed there was an intention to slant commissioner elections heavily in favour of party political candidates.

Following the election results, he said: "Almost everybody I spoke to during the course of this campaign echoed that message.... I did not speak to an individual who thought that this post should go to somebody who is so closely allied to a political party."

Mr Ball said: "How I see the role is to express the views of the people of Warwickshire to the chief constable and to ensure that the police force in Warwickshire are doing those things that the voters want them to do."

He said that he is inviting members of the current police authority to sit with him for a "transitional period", so that "knowledge and experience" is not lost.

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