Thursday 7th May 2020 – The day when Welwyn Hatfield residents would’ve been visiting their local polling station to vote for their local Councillors – something that we do every year. But do we have to?
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We’ve been making the case since 2017 that the Council should ditch having elections every year and join Hatfield Town Council and Herts County Council in the ‘all-out’ elections model, having one vote every four years – something that the majority of the UK already does.
To put it plainly, it’s a lot simpler. In the last 4 years we’ve had Referendums, By-elections and more than one snap election. The different levels of Council (be that Town, Parish, and County) all elect at different times – and that can be a lot to take in.
Elections cost money – and quite a lot of it. Whether it’s hiring halls as polling stations, employing staff, and posting our polling cards, and it is estimated that over 200 thousand pounds are saved by not holding elections.
While you certainly can’t put a price on democracy, at a time where Councils stare into a financial abyss due to Coronavirus (Covid-19) and a lack of Government support, this is not something to ignore.
On top of saving you money, it would give the newly elected Council a whole 4 year term to get on with the job of running the Council, to carry out their election promises, and to be held account by residents – and other Councillors – along the way. Not wasting time by crawling from election to election.
In Welwyn Hatfield, for many years Labour’s position has been to change our electoral cycle to all out elections every four years.
- This gives residents the chance to have a meaningful say with their vote,
- It allows whoever they choose the time to deliver on their promises before they are judged on them
- And it saves considerable amounts of resources that can be better spent.
At a time where local authorities face financial pressures like never seen before, we will continue to make this argument.