Calderdale Council's chief executive reacts to local elections being postponed because of coronavirus pandemic

The local elections in Calderdale have been postponed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

By Ian Hirst
Monday, 16th March 2020, 10:12 am
Updated Monday, 16th March 2020, 12:09 pm

The news comes after the Electoral Commission said on Thursday (March 12) that the polls should be delayed until the autumn to "mitigate" the impact of the virus.

The polling watchdog had said there were "growing risks" to the delivery of the polls, due on May 7 2020.

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Robin Tuddenham, cheif executive Calderdale Council

Downing Street said it would be impractical to go ahead with the elections as planned, as they would come during the peak of the spread of coronavirus.

Robin Tuddenham, Calderdale Council’s Chief Executive and Acting Returning Officer, responded to the Government’s announcement that the May 2020 elections in England will be postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 outbreak:

“Democracy is extremely important and core to our country," said Mr Tuddenham.

"However, the safety and good health of all our citizens, voters, staff and politicians is the top priority in all that we do as a Council, including our role in running elections.

"Both myself, and other Returning Officers, have been arguing that the challenges local authorities are currently facing in responding to the impact of COVID-19 mean that we cannot guarantee that we will be able to run the elections in May as planned.

“We therefore support the postponement until 2021, as this decision removes the risk that people would have faced during campaigning, in polling stations and at election counts.

"We are working with Government to address any issues caused by this postponement and will update on this further as more information emerges.”