Election cycle set for change

PUBLISHED: 11:35 21 September 2006 | UPDATED: 14:50 12 May 2010

COUNCILLORS were expected to approve tonight (Thursday) a change to the voting cycle in North Herts. A special council meeting will be discussing a recommendation that council elections in the future are run every four years. At the moment, the district c

COUNCILLORS were expected to approve tonight (Thursday) a change to the voting cycle in North Herts.

A special council meeting will be discussing a recommendation that council elections in the future are run every four years.

At the moment, the district council elects a third of its members over three years.

This means that places such as Royston see an election for each of those three years. In the year between there are Herts County Council elections.

In a report to members, it was said that running elections every year led to voters suffering from "election fatigue".

It said, too, that it created a situation where councillors were in "permanent election mode".

In a Government White Paper, Strong Local Leadership - Quality Public Services, it was said: "The current cycle of local government elections is confusing.

"It is too easy for electors to lose track of when elections are to be held."

The White Paper said running elections on a four-year cycle could see "wholesale change" to the political complexion of the council.

"It may tend to encourage greater long-term planning by authorities and discourage continuous election campaigning," said the White Paper.

The district council has estimated that running full elections next May would cost about £108,000 compared with a cost each year of about £65,000.

It was estimated that by-elections would cost between £1,000 and £1,500.

- See Crow Poll online to have your vote

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