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Update on Sandwell's election cycle

Published 9th November 2022

Following a public consultation earlier this autumn, Sandwell Council has approved a motion to retain the Council’s current election cycle in thirds at this time.

A further review of the council’s electoral cycle will be undertaken - to run alongside the scheduled Local Government Boundary Review (in 2024) - to enable Sandwell residents a further opportunity to outline their views on the matter. Once this has been completed, a further report will be presented to Full Council.

Residents have three ward councillors for the area they live. 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.

The 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.

Councillor Kerrie Carmichael, Leader of Sandwell Council, said:

"These arrangements are fundamental to local democracy, and for this reason members decided to give residents a further opportunity to continue to have a say in their local democratic arrangements. 

“Following that consultation and the discussions that we have had about this, it is clear that there are advantages to both systems, but the feedback has been that people are comfortable with the way we run our elections now and there was not a strong appetite for change.

“Whether we hold our elections every year or every four years, this administration remains committed to making sure everyone has their say. Good democracy is at the heart of what we do and I’m proud of the way we have taken the time to examine both options in the way we have. 

“We will welcome all views from our residents and would encourage all residents to engage in the consultation exercise on this matter when it is considered again in the near future.”