THE county will go to the polls next month to decide who should be responsible for Avon and Somerset Police.

The police and crime commissioner sets the police precept part of council tax, decides how the budget is spent, sets local policing priorities, and can appoint and dismiss the chief constable.

They also hold a regular performance and accountability panels, holding the chief constable and deputy chief constable to account on local issues.

The election coincides with Bristol’s local elections, a Somerset Council byelection for Mendip South, and a South Gloucestershire Council byelection for New Cheltenham. But for everyone else in the Avon and Somerset area it is the only election happening on May 2.

There are four candidates for the role, with all the usual suspects putting someone up for election.

Police and crime commissioner elections previously used a “supplementary vote system,” where people could vote for a first and second choice. Now they will use a “first past the post system,” meaning that you only have one vote.

  • Mark Shelford, Conservative

The incumbent Conservative Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Shelford is seeking re-election.

  • Clare Moody, Labour

Former South West MEP Clare Moody is standing as Labour’s candidate for the role.

  • Benet Allen, Liberal Democrat

Benet Allen, who was a councillor on and formerly deputy leader of the now-abolished Somerset West and Taunton Council, is the Liberal Democrat candidate for the role.

  • Katy Grant, Green

Green candidate for the role Katy Grant grew up on a farm on Somerset’s border with Devon.