With a week to go to the elections for the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Avon and Somerset, and just one in seven of the electorate saying they are likely to cast their ballot, the Conservative party has wheeled out its biggest gun to get people to vote – and to back their candidate Ken Maddock.
Prime Minister David Cameron is encouraging people to vote on November 15, saying that the elections will mean that instead of Whitehall being in charge of policing, voters will be in charge of hiring and firing their own PCC.
And he said that the right candidate would have an impact on public safety because they would rely on public support to get re-elected. Mr Cameron said: "There will be one local law and order champion, whose name and reputation is on the line; someone working constantly with the knowledge that if they don't do a good job, if they don't give you the tough, no-nonsense policing you want, then they'll be kicked out of the job.
"If you care about feeling safe as you walk through your neighbourhood, if you care about the streets your children ride their bikes in, if you care about what your town centre's like at the weekend, you should care about this – because the right candidate can have a big impact on all these things. "
Mr Cameron backed former Somerset County Council leader Ken Maddock, citing his record as leader of Somerset, and his debt reduction programme and the freezing of council tax while in the post.
He said: "In Ken Maddock you have a fantastic local candidate. For three years, before he stepped down to fight this election, he was Leader of Somerset County Council – giving him invaluable experience in making executive decisions. While on the council he froze council tax for hard-working families and began reducing the council's debts, showing he knows how to get bang for your buck.
"And Ken listens too – he's engaged with more than 400 town and parish councils on local crime and policing issues, to get a real grasp on what people in Avon and Somerset care about."
The elections take place on November 15 and voters can vote for first and second preference candidates.
There are four candidates for Avon and Somerset PCC.
They are (in alphabetical order)
Pete Levy - Liberal Democrat
Ken Maddock - Conservative
Sue Mountstevens - Independent
John Savage – Labour.