Lincolnshire Police Commissioner hopeful: I'd rather see £100m shake-up axed
Plans to introduce Police Commissioners should be put on ice – according to one of the people shortlisted for the new role in Lincolnshire.
Labour members have put forward Phil Dilks to go up against opposing party candidates for the lucrative position, which will replace Lincolnshire Police Authority.
Put simply, whoever is successful will shape strategy for Lincolnshire Police.
Mr Dilks says his overriding belief is that the whole idea be put on ice as cuts to services continue to be made.
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But with the inevitability of the £75,000 a year role, one of his strongest motivations to stand is to stop a Conservative snagging the job.
With eight years' experience serving on the police authority and the same as a county councillor, Mr Dilks believes he has a strong background to support him in the role.
"I actually think there's still time for the coalition to call it off because it's the wrong time when police are being made redundant and the cost of bringing in commissioners will be £100m," he said.
"What I'm not prepared to do is stand by and allow a Tory who will be a cheerleader for more cuts to come in.
"We've got seven Conservative MPs across Lincolnshire and every one in the last General Election promised in their leaflets to put more police on the streets," he said.
"You don't do that by cutting. The commissioner would be the public interface for the police force and I think there's a job to do to drive up community safety and fight crime.
"But you don't fight crime by cutting police officers so the very people bringing in police commissioners are actually making the cuts."
Mr Dilks came to Lincolnshire with his family while his father served in the RAF. He lived in North Hykeham and attended Robert Pattinson School.
He worked as a trainee journalist before moving to Bermuda and a five year stint on the island's paper.
He became known as Fair Deal Phil when he campaigned for reduced bus fares for pensioners and disabled people in the Deepings.
Mr Dilks now lives in the south of the county and is a South Kesteven District Councillor.
"Lincolnshire is the guinea pig for privatisation with G4S and while I wouldn't say I'm absolutely against it, I'm against the privatisation of services when it affects things like arrests and dealing with criminals," said Mr Dilks.
"A public service which has a high profile like the police has to be seen to be absolutely above board at every level and that's one of the challenges of getting in private companies. And one of the roles of commissioner is to make sure that line is not crossed."
The Conservative Party has not yet shortlisted anyone to go forward for the role. It is expected to be decided by July 21.