Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner contenders face off in Boston hustings debate

Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner candidates at Haven High Technology College
Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner candidates at Haven High Technology College

Five of the men vying to be the public head of Lincolnshire’s police force faced off in a debate in Boston last night.

Mervyn Barrett (Independent), David Bowles (Independent), Richard Davies (Conservative), Paul Gleeson (Labour) and Alan Hardwick (Independent) debated at Haven High Technology College.

Fellow candidate Elliott Fountain (English Democrat) did not attend.

The five men were quizzed on their background and their stance on street drinking, drugs and funding for Lincolnshire Police.

Boston Standard deputy editor Andrew Brookes went along to the debate and kept people updated on his twitter timeline.

Here’s his tweets from the event as it unfolded:

*Forget Obama/Romney and actual BBC Question Time...tonight the men wanting to run your police are squaring off at Haven High

*Opening statements now. Kicking off with Mervyn Barrett...

*David Bowles and Richard Davies have fired their opening gambits - now Paul Gleeson...

*Last but not least here’s Alan Hardwick. Then over to qs...

*Q on campaign funding and source now...

*Mervyn Barrett admits has ‘professional, well funded, campaign’ and says he will disclose sources in due course...

*David Bowles accuses Mervyn of hiding behind the rules. Says he is spending 3k of his own money

*Now onto how to tackle drugs crime...

*Richard Davies calls for more ‘stop and search’ to cut drugs problems which he says are ‘huge’ in Lincolnshire

*Fair funding - a thorny issue...

*Richard Davies brought up cash issues with PM David Cameron - says govt wrong to underfund

*Alan Hardwick quoting from the ‘gobbledeegook’ of the funding formula

*David Bowles says we won’t get cash back by ‘cosying up to ministers’ - directed at Richard Davies

*Mervyn says money is ‘tight’ - ‘not banking on’ more money

*Paul Gleeson says we will only get more money if people come together to ask for it

*Now onto our @standardboston front page issue - street drinking

*David Bowles and Alan Hardwick want an absolute ban - Richard Davies and Mervyn Barrett want current rules enforced

*Paul Gleeson says public pressure has forced police to admit there is a problem in Boston

*Now onto experience of running big budget and how to be accountable

*David Bowles strong on experience having been at the helm of the county council and hospital trust

*Alan Hardwick strong on accountability - says communication is his forte as an ex journalist

*Richard Davies labels David Bowles a ‘number cruncher’ and says we don’t need someone like that

*Questions from the floor now. Chap with a fetching green jumper first up asking about the political party candidates

*Both Richard and Paul say they are proud to represent their parties...

*David Bowles criticises Mervyn Barrett for not revealing the source of his funding. he (Mervyn) says he (David) should ‘stop obsessing’ about money

*Mervyn now quizzed on drugs. He’d favour them being regulated like alcohol and tobacco. David Bowles doesn’t agree...

*Richard calls Mervyns idea (for Dutch style ‘coffee houses) ‘lunacy’. Alan says it is ‘madness’

*Funding up again. Member of the public labels Mervyn ‘swerving Mervyn’ for not revealing his donors until the law demands...

*David Bowles wants to hold courts to accounts - Mervyn Barrett says that not part of the job...

*Back to party politics now. How can Richard and Paul stand up to party if needed...?

*Paul Gleeson says he will swear oath of impartiality. Says wouldn’t have afforded the 5 k deposit without Labour Party

*Richard Davies says he’s not a party puppet

*Back to drugs. Alan, Paul, Richard and David all want zero tolerance of drugs in prison...

*Mervyn says they already do have zero tolerance but says drugs get through the system - ‘prison doesn’t work in terms of dealing with drugs’

*Now onto road crimes. Alan Hardwick criticises speed cameras - says we need more police presence instead...

*Spotlight back on Mervyn - this funding question won’t go away. Anne Dorrian taking him to task...

*That’s all folks. Well done to Haven High for a professional job with this - credit to the school.

See next week’s paper for more on the debate.