Labour man hopes to make his Mark

Mark Atkinson.
Mark Atkinson.

A CITY man was this week waiting to find out if he had been chosen as the Labour Party’s candidate to stand for election as the county’s first police and crime commissioner.

Mark Atkinson, 32, will learn tomorrow, Friday, whether he has seen off the challenge of rivals Clive Grunshaw and Ibby Master, both members of the Lancashire Police Authority.

Commissioners will be elected across the country to take over the role of police authorities in holding the chief constable to account, governing the force and setting its budget.

Voters will elect the commissioners on November 15.

Mr Atkinson, of Lily Grove, Scotforth, is married and has a son.

He attended Scotforth CE Primary and Ripley St Thomas CE High Schools.

As a pupil at Scotforth Primary, he won an award from Lancashire Police for a project researching the force’s history.

His parents were born in Skerton, and his grandparents ran the post office in Pinfold Lane.

Mark was active in Lancaster Young Labour, and has worked in national policy roles with the Local Government Association, Citizens’ Advice Bureau and Youth Sport Trust.

“I want to stand up for our communities and protect them from the indignity and fear of crime and anti-social behaviour,” said Mr Atkinson.

“I will be a strong champion for our people and our communities, bringing fresh ideas to some of the most pressing issues in our neighbourhoods.”

Labour held an election of party members throughout Lancashire to choose between its three candidates.

Mr Grunshaw, a county councillor from Fleetwood, is chairman of the Lancaster and Fleetwood Labour Party, and stood in the 2010 General Election, narrowly missing out to constituency MP Eric Ollerenshaw.

Mr Master is a member of the Blackburn Labour Party.

The Conservative Party is interviewing its candidates to stand for the Lancashire commissioner role on June 22.

Its Morecambe and Lunesdale branch has confirmed none of its members are candidates, and nobody from the party’s Lancaster and Fleetwood branch has publicly announced they are standing.

The Morecambe Bay Independents have confirmed they are not putting a candidate forward.

Neither the local Green Party or Liberal Democrats could be contacted.

Candidates do not have to declare their intention to run in the election until October 19, and the police authority is not publishing the names of any candidates until after that date.