Bassetlaw: Should council change to all-out elections? - have your say

Bassetlaw District Council, Potter Street, Worksop  (w120328-5b)
Bassetlaw District Council, Potter Street, Worksop (w120328-5b)

Bassetlaw Council is seeking residents’ views on whether it should change to whole council elections every four years starting in May 2016.

The local authority has launched a consultation that asks how often elections should be held to appoint its councillors.

Council leaders are now asking for the public’s views on whether it should change to whole council elections or retain the existing system of ‘elections by thirds’.

Currently the council holds ‘elections by thirds’, which means that votes are held for 16 seats each year for three successive years out of four. Bassetlaw is the only district/borough council in Notts not to have elections by ‘whole’.

Under the Localism Act 2011, the council has the power to change its electoral arrangements to ‘whole council elections’, which would mean that all seats on the council would be elected at the same time, once every four years.

Coun Simon Greaves, leader of Bassetlaw Council, said: “At June’s full council meeting all councillors supported in principle a move to all-out elections from 2016.”

“The savings generated could ultimately save jobs and services in Bassetlaw and would bring the district in line with the rest of Nottinghamshire in having district council elections once every four years.”

“As part of the process in moving to all out elections we are consulting Bassetlaw residents to find out their views and I urge people to have their say.”

A meeting of the full council on 5th March 2015 will further consider the issue before the authority makes a final decision.

The consultation period runs from 17th November until 31st January 2015.

Following June’s full council meeting, Coun Greaves told the Guardian: “This really is an important step forward for the council.”

“I’m delighted that full council has given its backing to consult with the public on our proposals.”

“It is important that we give local people the chance to have their say through the consultation.”

“By moving to all out elections in 2016, the council estimates that there could be a saving of approximately £146,000 between then and 2020.”

Bassetlaw residents can have their say by filling in the online survey at www.bassetlaw.gov.uk.

Alternatively, hard copies of the consultation are available from the council’s One Stop Shops in Worksop and Retford.