PCC election spending was justified, says assistant

Adam Simmonds was one of the top spenders on advertising in the run-up to the PCC election last year
Adam Simmonds was one of the top spenders on advertising in the run-up to the PCC election last year
4
Have your say

Northamptonshire’s police commissioner Adam Simmonds was among the top spenders on advertising in the run up to last year’s vote, the Electoral Commission has revealed.

Mr Simmonds, who beat Lee Barron in a run-off, spent £16,314.78 on advertising, the third highest amount of any candidate in any of the 41 PCC areas in England and Wales.

The Conservative candidate received 30,436 votes in the first round, in a ballot which was marred by low turnout.

But Peter Heaton, assistant PCC in Northamptonshire, said Mr Simmonds had decided to spend more than most because he wanted to let people know what PCCs would do.

And the county saw the highest turnout of any PCC election, which was held on the same day as the Corby by-election.

“Adam spent just over a third of what he was entitled to legally,” Mr Heaton said.

“I think it’s important to point out this isn’t public money, this was private money provided by the party he represented.

“There was little or no Government money for people to know the election would be about.”

He also said Mr Simmonds had to cover an area which included seven Parliamentary constituencies.

Candidates in the elections for police commissioners spent a total of £2.1 million in the final four weeks before the polls.

Only two candidates – Raj Chandran in Nottinghamshire and Jas Parmar in Bedfordshire – spent more in advertising than Mr Simmonds.

Craig MacKinlay, in Kent, spent the highest total – £98,751.46.