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Voting for your Gloucester city councillors will be every FOUR years

By citizenmike  |  Posted: March 30, 2014

By Mike Wilkinson, Public Affairs reporter

9156171

Voting in Gloucester is changing...

Comments (17)

Sweeping political change in Gloucester could happen after radical plans to alter the way city councillors are voted in were backed.

Voting for your Gloucester city councillors will now only happen every four years instead of once every year for three consecutive years.

It is hoped that it will simplify the voting system and encourage more people to go to the ballot box.

HANDY GUIDE TO ELECTIONS

2014 – City council / European elections

2015 – City council / Parliamentary elections

2016 – Whole city council / Police & crime commissioner elections

2017 – County council elections

2018 – No elections

2019 – Parliamentary elections

2020 – Whole city council election

VIDEO: How your councillor voted

Side effects of the change could even mean the city’s Conservative administration wiped out in one swoop if there is a sea change in the fortunes of rival parties.

The change, which comes into effect from May 2016, will also save taxpayers £195,000 over the next six years.

Some 28 councillors approved the changes at a meeting last Thursday, with seven Conservative backbenchers refusing to support the measure.

Councillor Mary Smith (L, Robinswood) said: “Any councillor who is worth their salt is going to be out walking the streets meeting people regardless of whether there is an election or not. If they don’t then they frankly deserve to be thrown out after four years.”

Voters were consulted on the proposed change in January but city council bosses received just 36 responses – 33 of which supported the idea of all-out.

But councillor Gordon Taylor (C, Abbey) warned: “We need to have continuity in the council chamber. It is difficult for the council to do its business if everyone is new.”

And councillor Andrew Gravells (C, Abbey) added: “Just 36 people bothered to express a view. That is a shocking level of apathy. What happened to the other thousands of people in Gloucester?”

He argued that reducing the number of elections could add to voter apathy.

One voter spoke to councillors claiming that she had only found out about the consultation ‘by mistake’ and that a lack of publicity for the proposal was to blame for the low response.

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17 comments

  • Mike_Smith_Gl  |  April 28 2014, 6:32PM

    I'm wondering how the Electoral Registration Office will deal with circa 150 candidates in the 2016 Council elections. Also will any Party be able to find 36 good candidates? Are the 3 parties presently represented on the City Council planning a trade-off? "This is our Ward, that's yours. We won't fight yours very hard if you don't fight ours very hard. That way we can fight off these upstart Parties that want to wreck our cosy consensus."

  • uk_socrates  |  April 01 2014, 5:37PM

    @RoadWombat, its not end of the world tho. It saves money as well. Local elections are not that important anyway. As of 01/04/2014. We still cant comment on UKIP article. I have tweeted press, reporter and UKIP. No reply.

  • RoadWombat  |  March 31 2014, 5:12PM

    "I also featured the consultation and how to become involed in my page on the recent edition of Quedgeley News that is delivered to households across Quedgeley" The one that most people will pick up off the doormat and put straight in the bin? Reminds me of the old joke about planning applications being on display to the public in the basement of the council officers for ten minutes whilst the cup final is on... "But you WERE consulted...!"

  • uk_socrates  |  March 31 2014, 11:17AM

    Seems a great idea, plus it saves money. Local elections are not that important anyway.... The reason hardly anything gets done in the USA is because they have major elections every two years. Less elections can sometimes be a good thing, as people focus on gettings things done rather than playing the political game.

  • SandraPee  |  March 31 2014, 9:24AM

    The shocking level of apathy might just be down to the lack of perceived engagement between politicians and the general public ! This isn't just limited to a local level there seems to be a gigantic chasm opened up between the two with the lack of trust and understanding .

  • Kay_Powell  |  March 30 2014, 11:14PM

    Andrew Gravells made the point that there were only 36 responses to the public consultation, but it wasn't clear who he was blaming for this low figure. He did mention voter apathy.

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  • JemmyWood  |  March 30 2014, 3:44PM

    As a private citizen Fred I reserve the right to anonimity. You however as a currently elected member of the city council, have still failed to answer my questions below about the 'consultation' itself. You seem to be hailing your pet project as a resounding success, whereas I see it as a massive failure due to the councils total lack of engagement with the electorate.

  • Frederickwood  |  March 30 2014, 3:11PM

    Mike All 36 attended. The mayor does vote and did

  • Mike_Smith_Gl  |  March 30 2014, 3:06PM

    Jemmy, I agree with your opinion but not your mathematics. 28 Councillors voted 'For' and 7 voted "Against". I make that 35 voting and, of course, the Mayor doesn't vote. So that makes a total of 36 Councillors attending.

  • Frederickwood  |  March 30 2014, 2:57PM

    jemmywood all 36 councillors were present for this important vote. 28 supported change, seven wanted the current arrangements to stand and one councillor abstained. As for being elusive. Well, I am not the one using a pseudonym

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