Residents still have time to give their views on how councillors are elected

Almost 17,000 households have had their say on how often they would like local elections in Swindon.

Published: Tuesday, 15th October 2019
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Residents of the borough are being asked if they would like to maintain the current ‘by thirds’ election model or move to a ‘whole council’ model instead.

But residents who have not yet submitted their views still have time to do so with the election consultation set to close next Friday (25 Oct).

The current election cycle used by the Council takes place in ‘thirds’. In this model, councillors are elected for a term of four years, with one third being elected for three consecutive years which is then followed by a fourth year when there are no elections.

The proposed alternative model, ‘whole council elections’, would mean that all seats on the Council will be elected at the same time, once every four years. Currently, this model is used by 70 per cent of unitary authorities across the country.

Every household in the borough was sent a postal consultation form last month and a pre-paid envelope to return their opinion on the potential change.

Any residents who have misplaced their form can obtain a replacement by contacting Election Reform Services, who are running the consultation, by emailing their name and address to customerservices@electoralreform.co.uk by this Friday (18 Oct).

So far, 16,717 household postal consultation forms have been returned. Any remaining consultation forms must be posted to Election Reform Services by Tuesday (22 Oct) next week in order for them to arrive by the consultation deadline.

However, people or organisations such as local businesses or community groups can still feed in their views by visiting: www.swindon.gov.uk/electioncycles.

After the consultation period has finished, councillors will consider all the feedback received from the public consultation and make a decision on which model to use at the Extraordinary Council Meeting on 21 November 2019.

Matt Box, Swindon Borough Council’s Head of Elections and Democracy, said: “We have had a very positive response so far to the consultation and I would like to thank all those households who have taken part.

“It is important that as many residents as possible provide their feedback as that will help inform councillors before they make a decision on the preferred election model next month.

“If you have misplaced your form and would still like to respond then please email customerservices@electoralreform.co.uk by Friday 18 October and a new form will be sent to you.”

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