28-Feb-2017

Following a boundary review in 2016 and the adoption of new wards, which will come into effect for council elections in 2018, Huntingdonshire District Council made the decision to move from elections by thirds to whole council elections from May 2018. This decision has implications for some of the 84 town and parish councils who will find that their electoral cycle no longer coincides with the district council. Accordingly, all town and parish Councils were consulted to find out if they would adopt the same electoral cycle as the district council to make elections easier for residents. Only three councils disagreed - St Ives and St Neots Town Councils and Warboys Parish Council.

In a report to council, alternative electoral cycles were proposed for St Ives Town Council, St Neots Town Council and Warboys Parish Council. However, in an amendment to the recommendations made to full council on 22 February it was agreed by members, for reasons of cost and efficiency, to set the date of ordinary elections for all town and parish councils so they will all be up for re-election in 2018 and every four years thereafter.

The district council wishes to save local taxpayers money - for example, the estimated cost of standalone elections for St Ives would be £12,000, St Neots £19,000 and Warboys £5,000, the cost of which would fall to the taxpayer.

Deputy Leader, Cllr Graham Bull, said: "Holding all local elections on the same day would reduce confusion for voters, as all local elections use the same method of voting, and it would increase the potential for a higher turnout at elections.

"If some parishes continued on their current cycle, their election would be run on its own and therefore may cost the parish more money; in some instances up to an additional £6,000. The decision to align the town and parish council elections with the district council would mean that costs could continue to be shared."