May local elections postponed

Parish and Police and Crime Elections also off over fears of coronavirus spread.

EC ballot

Pic: © Electoral Commission UK

The local elections scheduled for May 7 have been cancelled by the government and postponed until 2021 following a recommendation by the Electoral Commission who said that the predicted spread of the outbreak could pose a risk to the running of the poll.

In addition to voting for new Borough Councillors, voters would have been deciding on a new Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire and in some wards new Parish Councillors as well. In Botley, Bishopstoke and Hamble every seat on the Parish Council were due to be contested.

Councillors are likely to stay in post until next year and in the May election next year their seats will be up for a three year rather than a four-year term.

The Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council, Keith House said in a statement:

“Delaying these elections is very sensible. Election staff, candidates, campaigners and voters would all be exposed to unacceptable risk. Given we don’t know when the crisis will end taking a decision now to delay a year gives certainty and avoids confusion.

Cllr James Jamieson, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said:

“The LGA has been raising a number of issues with government including the possible impact of coronavirus on local elections. The swift decision is very helpful. Councils will now continue to put all of their efforts into supporting their local communities as the nation tackles COVID-19.”