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Council plans one election every four years
1:20pm Friday 1st February 2013 in Echo News
SOUTHEND council will consider holding one election for all seats every four years in a bid to save up to £200,000.
The Tory leadership will reveal plans later this year to elect all councillors together rather than holding elections in three out of every four years.
The shake-up, which could save the council between £140,000 to £200,000, would not be introduced before 2015.
Council leader Nigel Holdcroft said: “The primary reason is that it obviously costs a significant amount of money to run an election in three years out of four.
“By reducing that and having an “all-in” election, particularly if it coincides with a national or European election, will significantly cut costs and make a saving.”
If the election is held at the same time as Parliamentary or European elections, the Government will stump up half of the cost.
My Holdcroft said the proposals, which many other councils already use, would allow the administration in power to work through its plans without facing disruptive elections.
Councillors start campaigning at Christmas before a May election, causing more politically motivated voting and debate.
Election rules prevent councils making announcements about any new or controversial government initiatives in the six-week “purdah” period before an election, limiting their power to act. But four-yearly elections may result in dramatic swings based on national political issues at the time.
Two-thirds of councillors would need to agree the change before it is passed but Mr Holdcroft has had preliminary discussions with councillors over the change.