On the 6th May you can vote for the next Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) for North Yorkshire. We asked all four of the candidates to give us a statement on how they plan to address the needs of disabled people if they’re elected.
The four candidates you can vote for are:
- Keith Graham Tordoff, Independent
- James Barker, Liberal Democrats
- Alison Hume, Labour and Co-Operative Party
- Philip Allott, Conservatives
Please note that these statements are published as received from the candidates. As disabled people, we are aware that sometimes common/mainstream ways of discussing disability can be problematic. We also feel it’s important not to censor people or alter their words.
Keith Graham Tordoff
“I am the Independent candidate in the election for the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner of North Yorkshire which is on 6th May.
I served as a Police Officer in West Yorkshire for over twenty years and have for just as long been carrying out voluntary work in the community.
I have been Chair of the local Bloom group, fundraiser of the year for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance in the North of England in 2019. I am Patron of Dementia Forward a registered Charity working in North Yorkshire. I was awarded the MBE in Her Majesty the Queens Birthday Honours list in 2018 for services to the community.
As well as my background of public service I have first hand experience of looking after my mother for five years who was disabled and required the use of a wheelchair. I learnt more about the issues that disabled people face through having to challenge the authorities and wading through bureaucracy, to the struggles of trying to use a public disabled toilets not fit for purpose as my mother’s carer.
Barriers for the disabled, both physical and attitudes need to be broken down.
There needs to be more positive promotion featuring the disabled showing the diversity and how they make a contribution equal to all others in society. Facilities in public and work places should not be second best.
If elected I pledge to work for the rights of disabled people whether in the community or workplace. If elected I would welcome the opportunity of working with the York Disability Rights Forum.
I hope you will consider voting for me.”
For more information on this candidate, please visit www.keithtordoffmbe.co.uk.
“I would need to fully understand the complex issues of all disabled people first and foremost and I would welcome the opportunity to speak to you all in open forum.
I recognise to do this we would need to overcome the challenges of BSL interpretation and speech to text. My wife has worked with the deaf community in York and I have a good understanding of the challenges of communication.
I look to work in an holistic approach working with key stakeholders to provide the services that those with disabilities require. I also acknowledge that people with disabilities who come in to contact with the police, on either side of the law, face additional challenges, not least of all the provision of interpreters or approved adults.”
For more information on this candidate, please visit the York Liberal Democrats website.
“My name is Alison Hume and I work professionally in the creative industries. I am a working parent of three, including a young adult with autism and complex disabilities.
I’m a trustee of Choice Support, a large national charity that supports people to live independently and I’ve been a disability campaigner for 20 years. It started with campaigning for automatic doors at the Child Development Centre at York Hospital and continues today with equal access to York City Centre. I set up the ClosedToUs petition which has nearly 1400 signatures.
It’s time for an approachable and visible Commissioner who will champion disability rights at the heart of our frontline services. These range from diversity in the workplace to how a police officer interacts with a suspect with a visible or invisible disability. Disability rights must never be pushed aside as they so often sadly are.
If elected I will set up a Disability Scrutiny Panel to review and improve the handling of disability hate crime cases and also the support and safeguarding of victims with a disability in North Yorkshire.
I know what it’s like to fight to be heard. I know what it’s like when someone finally listens. I will speak up for you and your families. I stand by my record.
As an ally member of York Disability Rights Forum I look forward to working with you all if elected.
You can read my full manifesto at https://alison4pfcc.com/pledges/. An easy read format is also available.
I hope you will consider casting your vote for me on May 6th.”
For more information on this candidate, please visit Alison Hume’s campaign website.
My plans for the North Yorkshire Police and Fire Service if elected should make it easier for members of the York Disability Rights Forum to communicate with the Police and eventually the Fire Service. This includes the introduction of online chat avoiding the need to speak, an extension of WhatsApp for reporting certain neighbourhood watch activities and a quicker response to the 101 number when people need non-emergency help.
One of the current problems in North Yorkshire is the inconsistencies with the CCTV network. The cameras don’t connect to neighbouring councils, are not always consistently monitored and don’t always allow the police real time access. This means if a disabled person gets into distress or goes missing, it may take some time before it gets picked up. So I am proposing that the cameras are connected together and monitored by Police civilians 24/7 allowing a much speedier response in the event of problems.
Thanks to increased central government funding North Yorkshire Police is significantly increasing in size to allow increased police visibility to protect the more vulnerable people. Finally, I plan an all agency approach involving for example housing associations to keep your members protected from drug exploitation like cuckooing.
For more information on this candidate, please visit Philip Allott’s website.
To learn more about what North Yorkshire’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner does, visit northyorkshire-pfcc.gov.uk.