The Liberal Democrats today announced they had selected a postmaster and county councillor as their candidate for Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner.

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James Joyce will stand for the party at the commissioner elections on November 15.

Mr Joyce, who represents Reepham on the county council and Eynesford ward on Broadland Council, has been a member of Norfolk Police Authority since 2005, but is stepping down from the authority to fight the elections.

As Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner he would have the power to hire and fire the chief constable and set police budgets.

The father-of-two who lives in Wood Dalling said: “Most Liberal Democrats have some reservations about the new process of elected commissioners but we are determined to make the system work effectively.

“Like all public bodies the Police are under financial pressure, they need to do more for less.

“Driving out inefficiency is and has to remain a key objective. Back room savings must continue to be turned into front line visibility.”

Mr Joyce said that keeping the public informed of the police’s work would be crucial for the new system of elected police commissioners to work.

Former army colonel Jamie Athill, who was educated at Gresham’s School before a career in the army, will contest the election for the Conservatives, while former Norwich City Council leader, Steve Morphew, is Labour’s candidate.

Last week former Norfolk Police Authority chairman, Stephen Bett, announced he would stand as an independent candidate, stating that party politics should not become entangled with local policing.

Mervyn Lambert, who runs a Garboldisham-based plant hire, sales, rental and servicing firm has also indicated he is to stand as an independent candidate.

The closing date for candidates is October 19.

•See tomorrow’s EDP and Evening News for the full story.

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