Guerrilla Democracy: Democracy made easy
Problems started from the out-set when Godfrey Daniel, voiced his disapproval and insisted that Matt Taylor doesn't participate at all and that Pete Bradbury only be allowed to read out a prepared statement and then join the audience for the remaining duration.
Pete Bradbury, Katy Bourne's campaign manager, complained he is more than happy to remain on the panel and answer questions on Katy Bourne's behalf, but isn't because Godfrey Daniel isn't letting him.
After some vocal objections from members of the audience, the question of whether he should be allowed, was given over to a vote. The ayes counted 4, the nays counted 10 and 11 abstained.
Godfrey Daniel got his way and the panel consisted of himself and Ian Chisnall, the independent candidate.
Notable comments and questions included a promise by Katy Bourne to reward the hard work of Police Community Support Officers (PCSO's), by refunding their Council Tax bills.
When asked what their first priorities would be if elected as PCC, Ian Chisnall replied he'll be 'meeting with the chairman of the newly created Police Crime panel', which is being set up to bring accountability to the PCC role and secondly to 'meet with Police officers and police staff.'
Godfrey Daniel said he would 'sell Slaugham Manor', (a Sussex Police asset). He was reminded by the gentleman who asked the question, that Slaugham House is already on the market. Godfrey promptly added he would 'invest in tablets for the police' which will allow police officers to access police systems, such as electronic witness statements, a crime recording system, reference databases, and to check mails.
Other concerns raised was the discrimination of black, minority and ethnic members of the police force, involvement of police officers in local committees and provisions for young people in the area.
Godfrey Daniel likened the introduction of PCC as 'an idea dreamt up on the back of an envelope', citing the 'PCC's will be the scapegoats if crime rises', as he believes it inevitably will.
Ian Chisnall likened the PCC as a 'new regime, coming into take over from the old regime.'
Neither were able to make any promises and the view of many in the audience was summed up by a comment from a lady called Queenie, 'It is mere window dressing. I cannot see you (prospective PCC's) accomplishing what is expected of you.'
Godfrey Daniel took the comment as a compliment, being referred to as window dressing and Ian Chisnall agreed that it'll be an 'incredibly difficult job'.
The absent candidates were Tony Armstrong (UKIP candidate) and David Rogers (Liberal Democrat candidate).
The elections will be on 15th November 2012.