Radical shake-up of elections to be put to the public

People are being asked to have their say on plans for one of the biggest shake-ups of local elections in Dudley borough’s history.

Council chiefs have put forward radical proposals to hold local elections every four years. 

Currently, the council elects in thirds with 24 seats out of the total 72 up for grabs every year, with elected councillors sitting for three years once they are elected. There is a break where no elections are held every four years.

But under the new plans, if agreed by the council, people would head to the polls every four years to elect 72 councillors who will be in place until the next elections in four years time. The plans have been put forward as part of the budget setting agreed by council in April.

As part of that, councillors agreed to gauge public opinion on the proposals before it is voted on in council later this year. People will be able to go online and cast their vote on one of two options – keeping the current yearly elections where people have their say at the polls every 12 months, or opt for the new ‘all-out’ elections where people vote every four years.

Hard copies of the consultation are also available in borough libraries and leisure centres throughout the 12 week consultation.

The consultation is open until September 15and the results will be put to a meeting of the full council in October this year where members will vote on the outcome. Two thirds of councillors must vote in favour of change for it to be agreed. Sarah Norman, chief executive of Dudley Council, said:

“It is important we listen to local people when considering these proposals. There are many advantages and disadvantages to both systems but it will be really interesting to see what people make of the proposals. Members of the council will vote on the proposals later this year.”

The consultation will be available on social media as well as via the council’s website at dudley.gov.uk.

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