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Have your say on future elections in Sandwell | Sandwell Council

Have your say on future elections in Sandwell

Published 1st August 2022

Sandwell Council is running a community consultation on a potential change to its election cycle.

Council elections in Sandwell are currently undertaken ‘by thirds’. This means that 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.

The options

1. The current process – elections by thirds

Residents have three ward councillors for the area they live. The council currently uses a ‘by thirds’ electoral system. This means that, over four years, elections are held in years one, two and three for one of the three councillors in each ward. In the fourth year, there are no elections.

Benefits of this system:

  • New councillors can be elected more frequently.
  • Voters are able to react sooner to local circumstances, providing more immediate political accountability.
  • Residents are used to this electoral system.

Find out more about the advantages and disadvantages of the current process (the text takes you to a web link).

2. A whole council election or ‘all-out’ election

This process would see all councillors up for election at the same time once every four years.

Benefits of this system:

  • Provides stability for the council to adopt a more strategic, long-term approach to policy and decision making.
  • Reducing the number of elections held from three to one would reduce the cost of running elections.
  • There’s greater opportunity for residents to influence overall political control of the council, which may encourage more people to vote.

Find out more about the advantages and disadvantages of the whole council election or ‘all-out’ election (the text takes you to a web link).

Residents aged 18 and over will be able to indicate their preferred system by completing a short survey.

Read the full cabinet report on the changes to the Council Election Cycle.

Councillors will then consider all the feedback received and come to 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.”

For more information about the election cycle or any questions about the consultation, please email

Leaflets and paper versions of the survey are available in all libraries and Sandwell Locals. Translated copies of the survey are available on request.

The survey closes on 16 September 2022.