Local and European Elections are set to be on the same day next year – Thursday 4 June 2009. Local Government Minister John Healey has announced that the Government will seek Parliament’s approval to move the 2009 local elections in England to the same date as the European elections.
The decision follows consultation over the summer which showed overwhelming support for the change, including from the Electoral Commission, the Association of Electoral Administrators and the Local Government Association.
The changes to regulations also affect Parish and Town Council elections. These can now be held on the same day as two other elections – so parish elections can be held on 4 June 2009.
Next year’s local elections were scheduled for 7 May 2009, with the European elections due to take place four weeks later on 4 June 2009.
The draft order will be debated and must be approved by both Houses and made no later then the 7 November if the change is to made. It also seeks to address a number of technical matters that were raised during the consultation, such as ensuring that, as in 2004, the European election is administered on local government boundaries.
There are 34 councils where the 2009 election date will be moved – all English Shire Counties, and the Unitary Authorities of Cornwall, Wiltshire, Shropshire, Bristol, Isle of Wight, Bedford and Central Bedfordshire. There are 4 areas where the 2009 Mayoral election date will be moved. These are: Doncaster; Hartlepool; North Tyneside; and Stoke.