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Paper 4 -  26 September 2003 Meeting

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES

26 September 2003

THE CYCLE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS

Report by the Director

1. Sam Younger, Chair of the Electoral Commission, attended the January 2003 meeting of the Association in Gosport. He outlined the work of the Electoral Commission and discussed with Members the challenges of improving participation in democracy. The Electoral Commission is an independent body set up by Parliament. The Commission aims "to gain public confidence and encourage people to take part in the democratic process within the United Kingdom by modernising the electoral process, promoting public awareness of electoral matters, and regulating political parties".

2. Subsequently the Electoral Commission issued a wide ranging consultation - summary in Annex - on the local government election cycle.

3. Experience of election cycles varies across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. We do not propose to put in a joint Association response to this consultation. However, the Electoral Commission has asked to discuss the issues involved with Members at this meeting on the Isle of Wight.

4. Tom Hawthorn, Policy Review Manager at the Electoral Commission, will outline the pattern of responses so far and introduce for discussion three of the eight questions in the consultation:

Q1. Should there be a more uniform pattern of elections?

Q3. Should the current four year term be retained?

Q5. Should local government elections be combined in the future with other elections?

5. Mike Fisher, Chief Executive of Isle of Wight Council leads for the Chief Executives’ Group on electoral matters and will introduce the subject. Malcolm Dumper, Electoral Registration Officer for Southampton, who chairs the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Electoral Administrators’ Conference, has been invited to attend.

NICK GOULDER
Director

Date: 11 September 2003
Annex: www.electoralcommission.org.uk
Contact: Nick Goulder - 023 8068 8431, E-mail hiow@eastleigh.gov.uk

Last update: 16/09/2003
Author: Nick Goulder, Director

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