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Police & Crime Commissioner election: Christopher Townsend - Lib Dem
Tring-based councillor Christopher Townsend was the second person to be named as Liberal Democrat nominee after Ron Tindall withdrew from the race last month.
The Tring-based borough councillor works as a director at RBC Capital Markets and insists his background in finance will be key to managing the force’s rapidly shrinking budget.
He said: “I have the right experience as a professional because I work in finance and the police authority have a lot of problems with their finances which I think I can sort out.
“I also have experience as a borough councillor and working with the police locally, scrutinising police plans and making sure local residents’ needs are met.”
Councillor Townsend, who stood against Treasury minister David Gauke in the South West Hertfordshire parliamentary seat in 2010 says he is strongly opposed to the plan to outsource back office functions to G4S.
He said: “I’ve stated very clearly that I am opposed to the G4S outsourcing but I don’t think the question ends there, I think the question for us as candidates is how are we going to make the savings and we could do this through collaboration with Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.
“I have spoken to my candidate colleagues, they agree with me I have spoken to the police authority themselves and they think it’s a viable option so no to G4S.
“It is not no to outsourcing in general. I’m not against outsourcing as a matter of principal, I think it can be effective, but what I have discovered in local government is that political leaders don’t really understand how an outsourcing needs to work or the scrutiny that needs to go into that.”
He also describes the sale of police stations as regrettable but called on objectors to accept a new are of policing. “We need to accept there is a new focus to policing,” he added.
“I don’t want to fight a battle that has already been had, I think we have to be realistic and accept that what has happened has happened. We are going to have to move to a new model, whether it’s neighbourhood policing based or whatever."
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