A BRIDLINGTON community centre welcomed a special visitor last week – former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.
Lord Prescott attended a regular community surgery at the West Hill Community Centre, on the West Hill estate, as part of his campaign to become the first elected police and crime commissioner for the Humberside area.
Speaking with community representatives, councillors and PCSOs, Lord Prescott praised the work done at the community centre, and the value of the regular surgeries.
“I was invited to come along and speak to people here at this remarkable community centre, I have never seen the members of community police, housing officers and councillors all here together available to speak to residents in my 40 years in politics,” said Lord Prescott.
“It is very impressive. Standing as a candidate to become police commissioner you see the problems that people in the Humberside force area face. The problems here for example are very different to those in Hull for example, but they should not be sacrificed.
“Having somewhere like this to come to is vital and I want to make sure I get out and about to find out what those problems are.”
Cec Lindley, manager at the West Hill Community Centre, said that having Lord Prescott visit was “nice for local residents because it makes it feel like people care.”
Coun Shelagh Finlay, who invited Lord Prescott along to the meeting, said: “I think it is wonderful that we hold the surgeries once a month and that everyone gets involved. It was nice to see John come down and here people’s opinions about crime in Bridlington.”
Bridlington Town Councillor Liam Dealtry, also at the meeting, said that he fully supported Lord Prescott’s bid to become police commissioner, saying that it “would massively raise the profile of the area.”
West Hill area PCSO Adrian Clark said: “Since I started in this area these surgeries have been an all in one drop in. Having John Prescott turn up gives it a bit more profile, knowing someone is listening to our concerns.”
Lord Prescott has made it on to the longlist of potential Labour candidates for the police and crime commissioner role, alongside former Chief Superintendent Keith Hunter.
Current Humberside Police Chief Constable Tim Hollis, who last week announced that it is unlikely he would stay on in his role beyond his eighth year, has expressed his concern over the new role saying it is “untried and untested”.
The election, which will see the elected commissioner given the power to set police priorities and budgets, will take place in November this year.