Who you can vote for in Avon and Somerset PCC elections

Avon and Somerset PCC election candidates 2021.

The candidates for the Avon and Somerset PCC elections. - Credit: Archant

People in North Somerset will have the chance to vote for a new Police and Crime Commissioner on May 6. 

The position has been held by Sue Mountstevens since 2012, but in January 2019, she announced she would not seek re-election.

Ms Mountstevens was elected in 2012 as an Independent candidate and re-elected in 2016. 

More: 'Mixed emotions' as Police and Crime Commissioner announces departure.

The role of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is to be the voice of the people and hold the police to account, and the PCC elections are held every four years. 

PCC Sue Mountstevens

PCC Sue Mountstevens, who announced she was not standing for re-election this year. - Credit: Archant

Ballots will be held on the same day as the local council elections so voters can cast their ballots at the same time. 

The candidates for the new Avon and Somerset PCC are: 

Cleo Lake

Cleo Lake. - Credit: Cleo Lake

Cleo Lake (Green) was the Lord Mayor of Bristol in 2018/2019. Ms Lake has been an elected councillor in Bristol since 2016. 

Kerry Barker

Kerry Barker - Credit: Kerry Barker

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Kerry Barker (Labour) is a barrister with 50 years’ experience in the criminal justice system - he came second in 2016.  

Mark Shelford

Mark Shelford - Credit: Mark Shelford

Mark Shelford (Cons) was an Army officer for 30 years, as well as former deputy leader of Bath and North East Somerset Council. 

Heather Shearer

Heather Shearer - Credit: Heather Shearer

Heather Shearer (Lib Dems) is currently the vice chair of the police and crime panel which scrutinises the work of the PCC. She is also a Mendip District Councillor. 

John Smith

John Smith - Credit: John Smith

John Smith (Independent) was the deputy Police and Crime Commissioner until he stepped down in March 2021. Mr Smith was the leader of Avon and Somerset PCC’s team for eight years and became deputy PCC in 2020. 

PCCs are elected representatives who work to ensure police forces in England and Wales are running effectively. They replaced police authorities in 2012 and were intended to bring a public voice to policing. 

PCCs hold police forces to account and respond to the needs of the public. Responsibilities include appointing chief constables and holding them to account; providing a link between the police and communities; setting a force strategy and policing priorities; overseeing community safety and the reduction of crime; and setting out the force budgets. 

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