Sandwell Council is running a community consultation on a potential change to its election process.
Currently, all councillors are elected for a term of four years, with one third of council seats being up for election each year for the first three years of the cycle. There are no elections in the fourth year. However, the council is considering moving to a different system, where all council seats would be up for election at the same time, every four years.
The current system, with more frequent elections, means that voters can respond more quickly to current issues, and is what we are all used to. However, the suggested alternative would provide greater stability for long-term planning, and reduce the number of elections, thus saving the council money. It may also encourage more people to vote.
Residents aged 18 and over can complete a short online survey to share their views. Paper versions of the survey are available in all libraries and Sandwell Locals, with translated copies available on request at firstname.lastname@example.org. Once the consultation is over, on Friday 16 September, councillors will consider all the feedback and make a decision on how to move forward.
Leader of Sandwell Council, Councillor Kerrie Carmichael, said: “These arrangements are fundamental to local democracy and it is therefore essential that local people are consulted regarding their preferences. I look forward to hearing from residents and taking on board their views.”
There is also another consultation open until Sunday 28 August, asking for local people’s views on Sandwell Council’s spending plans for 2023/24. Find out more here.