No top cop job for councillor
THE leader of the Royal Borough will not be standing down after missing out on the Conservative nomination to become the Thames Valley's first police and crime commissioner.
Councillor David Burbage said he would resign as leader of the council if he won the Tory ticket and subsequently the authority-wide election on Thursday, November 15, but was overlooked by his party in favour of West Berkshire councillor Anthony Stansfeld.
Speaking to The Observer, Cllr Burbage said: "Obviously I am disappointed, but I am sure Anthony will fight a good campaign.
"They say when one door closes another one opens and I am very happy to carry on as leader of the borough. I wouldn't want to speculate on another five years though."
Newbury-born Cllr Stansfeld, who is already chairman of the Thames Valley Police Authority performance committee, said: "If elected, I don't think there are going to be any great changes in policing. Police performance has improved, despite the fact that we have had some cutbacks. The numbers of police on the streets has not gone down, and I would like to see it remain that way."
The former Army major, who served as a helicopter pilot during the Falklands War in 1982, points to the 15% drop in household burglaries since he took the performance chairmanship last year. He said he wants the force to continue to focus on burglary, particularly in Reading and Slough.
He added: "Tackling household burglary is one of the most important things. We must focus on repeat offending, through youth offending teams and monitoring of people closely when they come out of prison."
Barrister Tim Starkey has been selected as the Labour candidate for the elections, but the Liberal Democrats have yet to confirm their nomination.
This article appeared in Local Berkshire 12 Jul 12
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Jul 12, 11:01