BOTH candidates battling to become North Yorkshire's first police and crime commissioner have criticised the Government over the lack of publicity surrounding the election.

After canvassing residents, Labour's Ruth Potter and Conservative Julia Mulligan said they feared many of the county’s 601,200 residents did not understand why the election was being held on November 15.

Mrs Mulligan, who faced stiff competition from Peter Walker, a Thirsk businessman and the county’s former deputy chief constable, before securing the Conservative candidacy, said: "I don't think the Government has done a very good job in informing people what this is all about."

The most controversial moment of the campaign came after both candidates agreed that North Yorkshire Police’s headquarters at 17th century Newby Wiske Hall, near Northallerton, costs too much to run and a councillor called for the base to be moved to York.

Debates between the candidates for the £70,000-a-year role appear to have been generally good natured, despite Ms Potter claiming all Conservative candidates must be “cheerleaders for the Government's frontline policing cuts”.

Mrs Mulligan said her top priority would be to reduce crime, with a renewed focus on tackling antisocial behaviour and introducing strong systems to crack down on cross-border crime. Ms Potter said she would concentrate on ensuring vulnerable victims are prioritised, maintaining the neighbourhood policing and that the victims of crime get a rapid response.


Julia Mulligan A mother-of-two and economics graduate, who runs a marketing firm and lives in Skipton.

Ruth Potter A former York council deputy Labour leader and North Yorkshire Police Authority member.