Students have given the thumbs down to Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC) as turnout in one student area was zero per cent.
At the polling station situated in Bodington Hall, where 1, 055 eligible voters were on the electoral list to vote, not one person visited the polling station, prompting outcries that the elections wasted both time and money.
Jonathan Pryor, chair of Leeds Labour Club, said: “Speaking to students during the campaign it was clear that many people felt that they hadn’t had enough information about these elections, and the money used to run them could have been better spent”.
Speaking to Leeds Student after his win, Commissioner Burns-Williamson said how frustrated he was to hear of the low turnout: “It was disappointing to hear about a ballot box where no-one actually voted and that’s not good for democracy and not good for anybody”.
Receiving 114,736 votes, Labour candidate Mark Burns-Williamson was voted in as the first PCC of the area, beating Independent candidate Cedric Christie who came second, Geraldine Carter for the Conservatives in third place, and Andrew Marchington for the Liberal Democrats who came last. Turnout across the whole of West Yorkshire was 13.91 per cent, with over 8,000 spoilt ballot papers.
Burns-Williamson added: “I am delighted with the result and I am privileged to be the first elected PCC in West Yorkshire, and I will be more than happy to speak to students and make sure the office of the PCC is engaged in getting to the heart of student issues, whether its burglary or serious violent crime against student – whatever it may be.”
Words: Beatrix Passmore