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Councils and Electoral Commission welcome government decision to put May 2020 elections back by one year

The government has decided to postpone the 7 May 2020 local and mayoral elections in England for one year.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: "We will bring forward legislation to postpone local, mayoral and Police and Crime Commissioner elections until May next year.

"We will also work with the devolved administrations to ensure that they have the necessary powers to do the same."

The move comes after the Electoral Commission recommended a delay in light of the current and emerging situation in relation to coronavirus. It had warned of “real risks” to the successful delivery of those elections.

The watchdog’s chief executive, Bob Posner, said: “We welcome and support the UK Government’s decision to postpone the May elections. This will allow local authorities to focus their efforts on delivering front line public services and importantly, mitigates risks to voters and campaigners.

“We will work with the wider electoral community to ensure elections in 2021, including these postponed elections, are well run, command public trust and attract high levels of participation.” 

Responding to the Government’s announcement, Cllr James Jamieson, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said: “The LGA has been raising a number of issues with government including the possible impact of coronavirus on local elections.

“The swift decision is very helpful. Councils will now continue to put all of their efforts into supporting their local communities as the nation tackles COVID-19.”

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