Liberal Democrats in Northumberland and Tyne and Wear are putting forward a candidate for the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner who will campaign for the post to be axed and the savings ploughed back into putting police on the beat.
Dr Jonathan Wallace is Leader of the Opposition on Gateshead Council and has almost 30 years of experience in local government in the North East. He was born in Bensham, grew up in Lobley Hill, and was elected at the age of 23 to Gateshead Council in 1986 for Whickham South and Sunniside ward where he has been re-elected 8 times since.
Whilst Jonathan has extensive experience of local government, he does not come from a typical political background. 7 years ago he gave up paid employment to live the “good life” with his partner David in Sunniside, growing his own food and keeping bees, poultry and goats. His broadcasts about self-sufficiency on his YouTube channel have had over 4 million viewings. Jonathan graduated from Newcastle University in 1988 where he studied history, and was awarded a research doctorate in 1995.
“It is a great privilege to have been chosen by fellow Liberal Democrats,” said Jonathan, who is also Leader of the Opposition on Gateshead Council.
“My three priorities are to ensure front line policing is protected, bureaucracy is kept to a minimum through scrapping the post of police and crime commissioner, and seeking to reduce the increase in crime experienced under the current incumbent.
“Liberal Democrats want a more democratic system to ensure all communities in the area of the police force are taken into account when policing plans are drawn up, without the unnecessary overheads of the commissioner and her office.
“I am determined to challenge the Labour establishment in the North East. They have complacently controlled the region for decades without the North East seeing any significant gains. After years of crime falling locally, the incumbent Labour PCC has presided over an increase in crime rates and has been involved in controversy over the departure of the chief constable and her decision to axe funding for Victim Support in favour of funding an alternative organisation of which she is a director. I want to prioritise community policing principles which have taken a back seat under the current Labour PCC.”