This year it is wholly implausible that local elections will take place

Owl has posted views on either side of the argument for and against holding the Local elections in May.

Here is the view from Paul Arnott:

Extract from: A view from East Devon District Council leader Paul Arnott, Exmouth Journal       

In the first week of May, we are due to hold elections for county councillors, the police & crime commissioner, any casual vacancies for town and parish councils, and some local referenda on things like Neighbourhood Plans.

Or, to express this more directly, the people who are responsible for your public health policy, adult social care, roads, education, policing, allotments, town halls, and community responses to how you want the place where you live to be planned.

The problem is the pandemic. All of you who have voted will have noticed the many lovely people staffing polling stations, whose numbers are multiplied at the count, and at the daily opening and verification of incoming postal votes. That is before we even consider the eager candidates who  are meant to knock on doors, put leaflets through letterboxes and, of course, hold hustings or public meetings.

Campaigning would have to start in March, as the first postal votes go out in early April. Many people will not appreciate a shiny-faced candidate with a rosette coming up their garden path when it is highly likely that most of us still have not completed our vaccinations.

Some say that democracy delayed is democracy denied, which is often true. There is a slightly unappealing push from non-Tory national parties to insist we press on with these elections anyway; they sense blue blood and want to hit the Conservatives when they’re down.

To me, and forgive the pun, this is all trumped by public health and safety. These elections will be best held in the autumn. Our next local Kamala Harris moment will have to wait till then.

One thought on “This year it is wholly implausible that local elections will take place

  1. Of course the decision on this will be taken nationally by the incumbent Conservative party, and as our wealthiest party who have spent the last year exploiting Covid-19 to fill the piggy banks of their chums they may wish to leave such a decision late to deplete the coffers of their opponents. Factor in that the Scottish elections are also due, with the SNP imploding over gender identity issues and tokenism on candidate lists as well as the leadership thrashing about trying to avoid the consequences of a strongly alleged conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

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