CANDIDATES hoping to become the Thames Valley's first police and crime commissioner will go head-to-head at a public debate tonight.

The six hopefuls are to be pressed on a range of issues during the hustings, which will run from 7.30-9.30pm at Finchampstead Memorial Hall, in The Village.

The responsibilities of the successful candidate on November 15 will include hiring and firing the chief constable and setting a policing �400m budget.

The six competing to become the Thames Valley PCC are: Tim Starkey - Labour Mr Starkey has been a barrister for 11 years and stood for the Lib Dems in Amersham and Chesham in the 2010 General Election, but has since defected to Labour.

He lives in Chalfont St Giles where he serves on the parish council. He is passionate about fighting cuts to police funding and any privitisation.

Patience Tayo Awe - Independent Miss Awe has worked as a banker, teacher, project manager and served as a charity trustee.

She said she wants to give victims of crime a voice and represent all people impartially.

Barry Cooper - UK Independence Party Mr Cooper works at his family-run furniture business in London and lives in Buckinghamshire.

He says he is against cuts to police budgets and is not 'tainted' by previous political involvement.

Geoff Howard - Independent Mr Howard was a councillor on Slough Borough Council for 13 years and has represented Labour and Conservative.

He has been a magistrate and school governor and believes the elected PCC should aim to be a link between the public and their police force.

John Howson - Liberal Democrat Professor Howson is from Oxfordshire and has been a magistrate for 22 years. He is a former Government adviser, businessman and academic and was the victim of a classroom stabbing when working as a teacher.

He said too much crime is linked to addictions and believes reducing reoffending rates is the key to keeping police budgets low.

Anthony Stansfield - Conservative Mr Stansfield is a councillor on West Berkshire Council and a former Army major who served in The Falklands.

He was born in Newbury and was chairman of the Thames Valley Police Authority Performance Committee.

He wants the force to focus on burglary.