Peterborough City Council to begin consultation over switching to 'all-out' elections

Peterborough City Council has agreed to begin a consultation into switching to an ‘all-out’ system of elections.

By Ben Jones
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 5:28 pm
Peterborough City Council elections in May.
Peterborough City Council elections in May.

The present system sees the council adopt the ‘Unitary Authority model’, meaning there are three successive years of elections, where residents typically vote for one ward councillor, followed by a year without an election.

The change would see all 60 of the city council’s seats contested at the same time.

The consultation was proposed by Cllr Andy Coles, Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Governance, after switching to such a system was recommended by the External Assurance Review- a governance report commissioned by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in November.

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The consultation, which will involve speaking to councillors, the city’s MPs, all of the parish councils, police and members of the public, will also discuss whether, if approved, the cycle would begin in 2023 or 2024.

In the current system, city and parish council elections are planned to take place in 2023 and 2024 before a break in 2025.

Around thirds of councils in the country use an all-out system. Speaking in support of the change as last night’s (June 22) full council meeting, Cllr Coles said: “City elections would be standalone in 2023 which would assist electors with voting on one ballot paper – it is considered that multiple elections on the same day could cause voter confusion with different voting methods.”

Councillors voted unanimously to commence the consultation and in a future vote on adopting the system, a majority of at least two third would be required.