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Have your say on future elections in Sandwell | Sandwell Council

Have your say on future elections in Sandwell

How we vote now

The table below sets out the advantages and disadvantages of each election cycle.

Current Electoral System in Sandwell – Electing “by thirds”

                   Advantages                                                       Disadvantages

A regular familiar process, easy to understand

Lack of stability due to regular changes of political control can affect local business and council services

Yearly opportunities to engage with residents and voters

Voter “apathy “too many elections can decrease engagement 

Councillors held to account more frequently by their constituents

Limited time to implement major policy changes to the council and key decisions relating to long term infrastructure and regeneration

Allows gradual changes of members at the council – creates and mix of new and experienced members

Potentially difficult decisions not being made due to a lack of time 

Provides a more current reflection of people’s views of elected members

Constant campaigning by political parties can impact voter engagement

Regular intake of new members promotes opportunity for change and new ideas

Reduction in turnout and lack of interest due to number of elections taking place

Alternative Electoral System in Sandwell – “Whole Council Elections”

                   Advantages                                                       Disadvantages

Increased political stability – residents will be able to see a four-year longer-term plan

Risk that residents will disengage in the participation of elections – less frequent

Continuity of elected members over a longer period

Potential disruption due to a large turnover of new councillors all at once

Opportunity for the electorate to change the political control and make up of the council

Increased number of casual vacancies and by elections.

Financial savings for the council

Could lead to the loss of experienced elected members

Comparable cycle to other national elections such as police and crime commissioner and combined authority mayoral. 

Less frequent elections could discourage candidates to stand for elections as the opportunity not as regular 

Reduced voter “apathy” towards elections as not as frequent

Less able to train staff, continually improve and transform the delivery of elections.

Residents aged 18 and over will be able to indicate their preferred system by completing a short survey. The survey closes on 16 September 2022.

Fill in the short survey

For more information about the election cycle or any questions about the consultation, please email ec_consultation@sandwell.gov.uk

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