The Liberal Democrats has announced Adrian Waite as its candidate for the upcoming Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) elections on May 2.

Mr Waite, a town councillor in Kirkby Stephen and an experienced accountant, is eager to utilise his skills on a larger scale.

His main priorities involve a 'return to community policing', as well as tackling rural crime.

He will also focus on working with communities to reduce anti-social behaviour, prevent crime from occurring in the first place, and improve co-ordination between police, fire, and other public bodies.

Formerly a finance director and strategic director at Copeland Borough Council, Mr Waite also runs a management consultancy business that supports public services.

He is also a former chair of Impact Housing Association in Workington.

Speaking at a meeting of Liberal Democrats in Appleby last week, the councillor said: “I’m delighted to have been selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate to be our county’s next Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.

“The men and women who serve in our police and fire and emergency services do an incredible job working to keep us safe.

“The Liberal Democrats are winning in Cumbria, from Corby to Coniston, and from Greystoke to Grange-over-Sands, and I’m keen to build on the party’s growing success.”

Tim Farron, Liberal Democrat MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, praised Mr Waite.

He said: “Adrian would be an absolutely fantastic Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.

“His financial background means that residents would get good value for money for the service they receive.

“Adrian is someone who puts others first."

The Liberal Democrats candidate will compete against the Labour candidate David Allen.

Mr Allen previously said: “The role of Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner is serious business and if elected I will demonstrate that Labour can competently manage these services to deliver for the people of Cumbria.”

Also going up for the role is Conservative candidate Mike Johnson, the current deputy police, fire and crime commissioner (DPFCC) and Cumberland councillor for Thursby.

This came after current PFCC Peter McCall revealed that he will not be contesting the upcoming election in May after eight years in the role.

Mr Johnson previously said: “I am delighted to have been selected as the Conservative candidate for the upcoming elections in May.

"As DPFCC it has been a privilege to be part of recent successes, such as more police officers on our streets than ever before."