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What goes on in the Local Elections?

May 18, 2006 by  

So what does go on in the Local Elections that shouldn’t and you don’t get to hear about? Read on to discover the level of activity that was undertaken against myself, an independent candidate in the 2006 Local Government Elections.

The Labour Candidate wrote this in a leaflet delivered to all houses in Hawkwell West.

” While neighbouring villages have had dispersal orders, Hawkwell has missed out. The Police say that dispersal orders were not supported by Ward Councillors.”

This is not true.

The public minute of the Council that records the presentation,discussion and decision of the Council in respect of the
request for renewal of Dispersal Orders in Rochford District.  These are all available to the public on the internet and this is under reference  http://cmis.rochford.gov.uk/CMISWebPublic/Binary.ashx?Document=12451

As you can see “Members referred to a number of areas” and I and another Councillor (not a Ward Councillor of Hawkwell West) raised the question of why Hawkwell was not included. The reason put forward by the police was “were advised that it is not possible to identify a potential area unless an audit of reported incidents indicated that there was
a potential problem.”

It was not the case that Ward Councillors did not support the Police request for Dispersal Orders.

The Returning Officer referred me to the Police who replied as follows:  “You can say and write what you like about those in public office “

“Further to the allegations of electoral fraud that you have passed to me, I have, in accordance with national procedure, sought the advice of the Crown Prosecution Service Special Cases Division, who are empowered by the Director of Public Prosecutions, to consider the question of prosecution of all offences that relate to the electoral process under the Representation of the People Act 1983.

I have now received the ajudication on this matter as follows;

The alleged falsity about dispersal orders does not relate to the personal character or conduct of a candidate which Section 106 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 requires. Criticism of public acts, even if extravagant and perverse,or of a person’s political career and conduct, does not fall within the Section.  CPS do not consider that police inquiries would produce evidence capable of disclosing a realistic prospect of a conviction under Section 106.”

Well you would think that abusive flyposting about me over the whole of Hawkwell West would not go uninvestigated?

Wrong again.  This is what the Police said after the Returning Officer referred me to them.

“Thank you for your referral. I have today, referred this matter to the Special Crime Division(London) of the Crown Prosecution Service, who have responsibility for all election offences as a consequence of Sec 181 of the Representation of the People Act. Their advice is that enquiries cannot usefully be made into this matter,leaving aside the issue of whether the poster constitutes a full statement of facts about the PERSONAL CHARACTER OR CONDUCT of yourself. This will therefore not be further investigated.”

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