04:51PM, Friday 13 March 2020
All local elections in England have been postponed for a year due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Local elections were due to take place on Thursday, May 7, including for 14 seats on Slough Borough Council.
Yesterday (Thursday), the Electoral Commission said it had written to the Government asking for a postponement until the autumn 'due to growing risks to the delivery of the polls and to mitigate the impact on voters, campaigners & electoral administrators'.
In a letter to Chloe Smith, minister for the constitution and devolution, the commission's chief executive Bob Posner said: "So voters can cast their ballot, polling station venues need to be secured, set up, staffed and accessed; we already know that local authorities have concerns about their ability to ensure this, particularly at the same time as continuing to manage other key services in the current circumstances.
"It is also vital that voters are able to hear the positions of candidates, parties and campaigners before they cast their vote; however, many forms of campaigning may not be possible, leaving insufficient space for the arguments to be heard."
Following today's announcement, Mr Posner said in a statement: “We welcome and support the UK Government’s decision to postpone the May elections.
"This will allow local authorities to focus their efforts on delivering front line public services and importantly, mitigates risks to voters and campaigners.
"We will work with the wider electoral community to ensure elections in 2021, including these postponed elections, are well run, command public trust and attract high levels of participation.”
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