Wokingham Borough Council is asking for residents’ views on a new local election cycle.
The council currently has a four-year ‘election by thirds’ system, which means a third of its 54 councillors (18) is elected every year in a four-year cycle (with no elections in the fourth year). This puts Wokingham Borough in a minority across the country, with most councils now opting for an ‘whole council’ elections every four years – meaning they have a local election every four years to elect all councillors.
A recent Local Government Association Corporate Peer Challenge recommended the council consider the case for moving to a whole council system and the council now wants residents’ views to help its decision. The consultation will set out the benefits of both the ‘all out’ system and ‘election by thirds’.
Leader of the council John Halsall said: “It is important that people look at the pros and cons of the two options and give us their honest views. Democracy must work in everybody’s best interest. The process has to be thorough and fair so that we end up with the right system for Wokingham Borough.”
The current electoral arrangements cannot remain unchanged because the Local Government Boundary Commission for England is undertaking an electoral review of warding arrangements in the borough this year. This will require the council to have either all out elections or wards with equal numbers of councillors (currently there are wards with one, two or three councillors).
The consultation will run until April 15 and residents can take part at: https://engage.wokingham.gov.uk.