Harlow Council ask residents how often elections should be?

General / Thu 27th Jul 2023 at 07:19am

HARLOW Council is asking residents for their views on how often council elections should be held.

Currently in Harlow one third of the council is re-elected every year, except for years in which Essex County Council elections take place.

However, over two thirds of councils in the country hold 4-yearly elections. Harlow Council is consulting on proposals which could see it also hold elections in this way.

The advantages of moving to 4-yearly elections include:

Four-year mandates and less focus on yearly campaigning.
Lower election running costs as elections would not take place every year.
Allows for a complete change in councillors once every four years.
Fewer elections may reduce fatigue which may increase voter turnout

Public consultation on the proposal runs until 18 September 2023. To have your say visit: https://selfserve.harlow.gov.uk/en/service/Electoral_cycle_consultation

Paper copies of the consultation are available from the Harlow Civic Centre and Latton Bush Centre.

Due to ward boundary changes the whole council will be up for election in May 2024.

Councillor James Leppard, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Finance and Governance, said:

“We are determined to improve council services, but at present nearly one-year in every four is lost to local elections. We believe that time should be spent serving residents and not playing politics. Over two-thirds of councils in England hold their elections every four years rather than every year and this would mean hundreds of thousands of pounds more that could be spent on improving council services, rather than on political elections.

“It would also mean your vote in 2024 would determine who runs the council for four years and I strongly encourage all residents to have their say on how often Harlow Council should hold elections.

“This is about improving council services and delivering what matters for you and stopping time and money being wasted every year on political wrangling.”

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8 Comments for Harlow Council ask residents how often elections should be?:

2023-07-27 08:35:50

Voter turn out is low as no matter who we vote for the same politicians from either party get in and continue to make our lives harder and poorer. Elections by 1/3 is good as it keeps the politicians and control of the council in balance if they push to far (15 minute cities etc) they can be removed / scaled back at an election pretty soon. But the real reason for saying we want voting to remain as it is, is that politicians want it. If they want it you can be sure it is not good for us, so please speak out against it and remember the harder it is for these politicians the better off we are they are all petty tyrants at heart.

Tom Compton
2023-07-27 10:34:25

We do not and would not vote for national governments on this basis. It is ridiculous, costly and wasteful. As has been stated, over a period of 4 years a year is lost. How can this make for sound administration. The focus will always be short-term rather than planning and implementing longer-term much needed policies. It is not surprising that the majority of English councils prefer the more sensible 4 year option.

Cllr Tony Edwards
2023-07-27 13:31:50

What this "press release" deliberately left out are the reasons for remaining with the present election by thirds system. These are given on the Councils website as • More frequent opportunities to make your views known with more immediate political accountability. • Greater continuity of councillors as they can’t all be replaced in a single election. • Gradual change that retains knowledge and experience whilst allowing for new councillors with new ideas. • Voting for one councillor at an election is simpler and understood by voters.

James Leppard
2023-07-27 14:22:00

That may well be, Cllr Edwards, which makes it more difficult to comprehend why the Harlow Labour leader last year proposed cancelling the May elections in order to save money and because councillors elected would only serve one year. Well those facts remain so what has changed for Labour? They were basically the advocates of this change.

Tony Edwards
2023-07-27 16:11:05

Cllr Leppard - you know you are not comparing like with like - The Councillors elected in 2023 will only serve one year instead of four. This, as you know, is due to the redrawing of the ward boundaries by the Local Government Boundary Commission. Given that they would only be serving one year, as there was going to have to be an all out election in 2024 - it was perfectly reasonable to make the case for cancelling the 2023 election.

2023-07-28 09:08:23

Who ever gets voted in should be held accountable for the money and decisions they make, especially when they fill there own pocket with our money, that's why they make bad decisions, no accountability fir them, look at Tony Blair no justice fir a murderer

Dan Long
2023-07-29 18:39:35

It don't matter how often local elections are held here in Harlow, I would never vote the anti British Labour party,the lying Tory party, the finished Liberal democrat party or the mind blowing Green party of Harlow. Non of them put the number one priority of Harlow first, which is the residents of. I you want reform thenVote reform. From Dan Long, reform uk party.

Dan Long
2023-07-29 18:42:12

It don't matter how often local elections are held here in Harlow, I would never vote the anti British Labour party,the lying Tory party, the finished Liberal democrated party or the mind blowing Green party of Harlow. Non of them put the number one priority of Harlow first, which is the residents of Harlow. If you want Reform then Vote Reform. From Dan Long, UK Reform party.

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