Harlow Tories bid for local elections to happen every four years

Elections / Thu 13th Jul 2023 at 08:40am

THE RULING Conservative group will tonight (Thursday) propose a motion for local elections in Harlow to happen every four years.

At present they are by thirds. Three years in a row and then a rest year

Here is the motion that will be heard next week.

Proposed by Councillor James Leppard (seconded by Councillor Dan Swords):

“Harlow is undergoing once in a generation change, but the Council cannot be complacent. It must do everything it can to ensure that the change Harlow is experiencing reaches its full potential. By moving to all-out elections, the Council will be able to:

· Focus better on its long-term, strategic goals, allowing Harlow to become the best place to live, work and raise a family;

· Save upwards of £90,000 each year; and

· Better avoid voter fatigue.

This Council, therefore, resolves to:

 i)        Undertake a public consultation with the public, at the earliest opportunity, on the question of moving to all-out elections;

ii)        Following the consultation and mindful of the responses, request that the relevant Portfolio Holder report back to Full Council so it can vote on moving to all-out elections, or continuing with the current electoral cycle of elections by thirds; and

iii) If the Council resolves to change its electoral cycles, to take all necessary steps to change the cycle as from the All-Out elections in May 2024.

If this motion is approved, the public consultation shall run from 24 July 2023 until 18 September 2023 using the form displayed in Appendix A.”

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17 Comments for Harlow Tories bid for local elections to happen every four years:

David Forman
2023-07-13 08:47:52

Obviously this gives the ruling party 4 years to screw up the council rather than be held accountable on a regular basis. The Tories are running scared of the electorate.

David Vincent
2023-07-13 09:10:10

With 4 yearly all-out elections I can predict a few more Woking style bankrupt councils.

James Leppard
2023-07-13 14:06:41

David Vincent, Woking Borough Council operates elections by thirds the same as Harlow currently does. The majority of councils work on 4 year cycles.

Dan Long
2023-07-13 15:26:55

Rubbish. Is because their ratings in the polls are so low or because they have been upto NO good. This Tory administration party of Harlow are just as bad as the former Labour administration party of Harlow. Only in to line their own pockets and not in to listen to the worries and concerns of the number one priority of Harlow, that's the residents of Harlow. Vote the reform uk party.

2023-07-13 21:00:39

Utterly wrong how else do we keep those elected to account, ideally we would also have term limits to prevent career politicians. Funny thing I bet £1000 that the current crop of Harlow Tories do a Woking or Thurrock within 5 years any conservative councillor what to take me up on that for charity.

2023-07-13 23:17:31

With a Councilor like NC, we need them every year. Calling the police because of police emails 😁😃😜. Please stop him sending them,I am so scared 😆🤪

Andrew Turvey
2023-07-14 13:37:36

Given Harlow Conservatives gained seats at the last election, they are clearly not "running from the electorate". It's a consultation that could save a significant amount of money. Certainly worth a discussion. Why not listen to the arguments?

James Leppard
2023-07-14 13:58:44

Andrew Turkey makes a good point. Of the 333 councils in England, just over 2/3 have 4 year elections. This consultation is not driven by party interests but rather taxpayer funds and better governance. In addition the significant extra costs to taxpayers, having elections each year means that between 2-3 months are lost with purdah (pre-election period) when no new policy issues may be introduced and election campaigning. This does not make for good administration and with possibility of the administration changing control every year, it is impossible for whichever party is in power to deliver any longer term strategy and focus instead on short term issues. We do not run national government like this and as already shown, the majority of councils do not operate on this basis. The people of Harlow should decide by way of the consultation.

James Leppard
2023-07-14 14:08:18

Under the present system, it is possible to have 4 different administrations over a 4 year period. As mentioned above, at least 3 months in any year will lost to the new administration settling in, new Cabinet, etc, purdah and election campaigning. That means in the four year period about one year is lost. How can this be good for Harlow in addition to the approx. £300,000 additional election costs? It is pretty obvious why most councils in England prefer the 4 year election model.

2023-07-14 16:14:39

makes a lot of sense - with less elections maybe the turnout and in turn representation will improve

Jamie Warr
2023-07-14 17:28:37

We never voted the Tories in in the first place.

Alderman Durcan
2023-07-14 20:18:57

Just remember we usually get the pot holes fixed around election time. Just saying

James Leppard
2023-07-14 22:10:43

Alderman Durcan, I don't recall the Labour administrations ever getting them fixed! In fact, the principal Labour theme during the 2021 election was: "Fix the potholes". Hardly a credible proposition after almost a decade in power and zero delivery...as with council house building and Town Centre regeneration under Labour.

Mark Gough
2023-07-14 23:13:58

Frankly it's more about the two largest parties knowing that smaller Parties will find it hard to find enough candidates. 33 at one Election is very difficult. I know I did it in 2002! That way they are less likely to get surprised like they did in 2014 by UKIP winning! Purdah should only be a month each Election - and only affects those Councillors seeking re-election, so frankly Cllr.Leppard is talking cobblers! In recent Administrations that has been 5-6 Councillors out of an administration of 17-22! So surely the other 12-16 can run the show! Mark Gough - Reform UK

James Leppard
2023-07-15 07:54:15

I see that I shall have to defer to Mark Gough in the area of "talking cobblers". He has clearly not read the following: https://moderngov.harlow.gov.uk/documents/s19203/Appendix%20B%20-%20Pre-election%20Period%20Guidance%20For%20Councillors%20and%20Officers%20-%20Revised%20guidance%20March%20202.pdf His erroneous comments indicate clearly that the purdah guidelines apply to all councillors and not only those standing for election. Perhaps it is this lax attitude that makes it difficult for his party to find sufficient candidates.

Mark Gough
2023-07-17 10:46:29

Well when you show sufficient care and attention to your typing Cllr.Leppard to call Mr.Turvey Mr.Turkey - I think we know whose showing themselves up with a lax attitude!

Mark Gough
2023-07-17 10:48:09

Refreshing and reassuring to know you're the Portfolio Holder for Finance too Cllr.Leppard!

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