District council votes to move to all-out elections in 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

Despite the recommendation that Huntingdonshire District Council should stay with its current election cycle councillors, have voted to move to all out elections.

At a meeting of the whole council on Wednesday, December 16, it was decided that the district council will submit a proposal to move to elections once every four years, as a part of its electoral review.

This will mean that instead of elections held for 17 or 18 council seats each year, for three successive years out of four, there will be an election for all wards once every four years.

The decision comes after the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) launched a review of the district council’s electoral arrangement.

The vote was cast despite a recommendation from the district council’s standards committee that it should continue to run elections by thirds.

At the meeting, the election by thirds recommendation was backed by UKIP councillors for Ramsey, Councillor Ann Duffy and Councillor Peter Reeve.

Cllr Reeve noted that if elections changed to once every four years then voters might not be listened to and will only have councillors listening their constituents’ issues in the year of the election.

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However, the majority of the councillors favoured the move to all-out elections after a proposal was submitted to the LGBCE to keep all of its 52 councillors and still allow for variable member wards.

Huntingdon councillor Mike Shellens said: “We would really like the best of both worlds. Thirds work if three members in that area work.”

Executive leader for the district council, Councillor Jason Ablewhite said: “If we were to go against this it would mean we would have to go through the process all over again.”

The proposal will now be given to the LGBCE and the next step will be looking at any potential boundary changes.