Borough elections

ballot-boxThe borough recently asked the burghers of Elmbridge whether they would like to vote every four years or once a year “by thirds”.  The result was 52% in favour of voting by thirds and 48% in favour of voting every four years.

In its meeting today, the full council voted 29 to 22 in  favour of voting by thirds.  In any case, to make a change to voting every four years it would have required a vote in favour of that proposition of 34 councillors.

The next debate will be on the number of councillors and then the ward boundaries themselves.

Do you have any thoughts about how many councillors Elmbridge should have?  Currently there are sixty.

4 thoughts on “Borough elections

  1. Cllr. Davis:

    Your article headline says that “Weybridge North will now vote every year.” You also say above that the Council has decided to retain its existing election cycle, i.e. electing/re-electing a third of its members each year, with each member on a 4-year term.

    Now I may be missing something, but surely these two statements are simultaneously incompatible wherever a ward does not have 3 (or a multiple of 3) councillors? Are you therefore inferring that future wards will either each have 3 (or 6, 9, 12 etc!) councillors, or that each term of office will reduce to 2 years (though in that case, what happens to wards with 1 or 3 councillors?).

    As an example, North Weybridge presently has 2 councillors, and we voters do not have a chance to get rid of either of them during years 3 and 4 on the current 4-year term cycle; Cllr. Gray is up for re-election in 2015 (until 2019), and you in 2016 (until 2020). That means no choice in the Ward in 2018 or 2019 (excluding any County election that is irrelevant for this Borough purpose).

    Maybe that’s where your revised numbers and boundaries come into it. If so, then it seems to me that the logical reorganisation within Elmbridge would be to reduce the current number of wards by 2 to 20, each having 3 councillors on a 3-year term. In that way, a ward WILL be able to vote with its feet every year on at least one of its councillorsr, with no fallow years, although there will have to be some transitional arrangements (based on existing terms outstandng?) to create a rolling programme from year 3 onwards.

    Simplistic perhaps, but you did ask.

    • You are on the ball. The reorganization will almost certainly mean the all wards will be three councillor wards. Weybridge North will be made larger and have three councillors but there will still be a fallow year when the county has its elections.

      Unfortunately it is unlawful for boroughs to have their elections in the same year as county elections. Otherwise I would go for elections by quarters. Elections every year for the borough with a quarter of the councillors retiring each year – a bit radical so don’t hold your breath. Your three year term scheme works equally well.

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