Mervyn Lambert pulls out of race to become Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner

The race to become Norfolk's first Police and Crime Commissioner is now down to four men, after independent candidate Mervyn Lambert withdrew his nomination.

On Wednesday night of this week Mr Lambert had appeared at a public meeting which brought the five candidates for the top policing post together for the first time.

The 64-year-old businessman, who runs his own plant hire, sales, rental and servicing firm, has now decided to drop out of the race though.

He said: 'I have had a long and hard think over the last few days and after much soul searching, I have come to a decision that I will not be submitting nomination papers to stand for this role.

'Although I would have liked the challenge of the Police and Crime Commissioner role, I fear if elected, I would not have been able to meet the needs and expectations of everybody in Norfolk.'

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Mr Lambert's withdrawal leaves Conservative James Athill, Liberal Democrat James Joyce, Labour's Steve Morphew and independent Stephen Bett as the four candidates in the running.

Explaining his decision, Mr Lambert, from Bressingham, near Diss, said: 'Since I have declared my intention to stand as an Independent candidate for the new position of Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk, I have been studying the complexities of carrying out this role.

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'It has become increasingly more apparent to me over the last few weeks and days because of the massive savings that will have to be made in the next few years due to government cuts to the police budget, very complex and potentially unpopular decisions will have to be made by the new Police and Crime Commissioner in a very short timeframe.

'Indeed maintaining current standards in policing and support services on a reduced budget in the coming years will be a major challenge to say the least.

'I have also been consulting with members of the public to see what direction they would like to see policing in Norfolk take in the future, in order that I had an indication of their needs and aspirations.

'Almost everyone I have spoken has a different view which appears to be dependent on their age, gender and social circumstances etc.'

The election for Norfolk's Police and Crime Commissioner will be held on Thursday, November 15.

Mr Lambert added: 'I take this opportunity to wish all the other remaining candidates all the very best in the forthcoming election. I will certainly be watching the outcome with interest.'

- The PCC candidates will face a Question Time session chaired by Henry Cator, the High Sheriff of Norfolk at Voluntary Norfolk in Norwich at 5pm on Monday, October 29, and the West Norfolk Professional Development Centre in King's Lynn at 5pm on Thursday, November 1. Call 01603 883809 to book a place.

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