Council to decide on election pattern for Huntingdonshire

Huntingdonshire District Council will be asked to recommend proposal for election pattern as part of

Huntingdonshire District Council will be asked to recommend proposal for election pattern as part of electoral review - Credit: Archant

Huntingdonshire District Council is likely to recommend staying with its existing election cycle as part of a review.

At a full meeting of the district council to be held tonight (December 16), members will be asked to back a standards committee recommendation that will see elections continue to be run by thirds.

Election by thirds means that there will be elections held for 17 or 18 council seats each year, for three successive years out of four.

The reason for the decision comes after the Local Government Boundary Commission for England launched a review of the district council’s electoral arrangements.

In September, the council submitted a proposal to keep all of its 52 councillors based on variable numbers of members for each ward.

A report written by the district council’s managing director Jo Lancaster, states: “A consequence of retaining this flexibility is that it will not be possible to hold elections in all wards every year.

“This means that unless the council decides to move to whole council elections, the boundary commission is highly unlikely to accept the proposal on the number of councillors.”

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If the recommendation is not accepted by the boundary commission it could see whole council elections being run every four years from May 2018.

Earlier this year, the council carried out a consultation with members of the public to find out which system voters preferred through a questionnaire on its website.

The majority of those who responded voted for a move to whole council elections (57.1 per cent) due to its cost effectiveness and clearer approach, with 42.9 per cent voting to stay with the council’s election by thirds pattern.

The recommendation will be discussed at tonight’s meeting of the full council.

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