IAN HART: Democracy in action or a waste of taxpayers' money?
Today, Thursday, May 4, is local election day, an opportunity for local people to go to the polling stations in order to elect, in this case, our representatives for West Sussex County Council for the next fixed four-year term.
At least, that’s what should happen, but the reality is quite different.
In the throes of a General Election campaign, I would imagine the council elections will attract a below-average turnout, while the local authorities are duty bound to work on the slim (make that nil) chance of a large turnout, so all the polling stations will be fully staffed with local civil servants, along with the counting of the votes tomorrow having a number of staff pulled in from other council departments.
I would like the to ask the relevant people in the local corridors of power how much today’s county council elections have cost the local taxpayers, with aforementioned number of polling stations and related staffing?
But I would also like to ask this – when, 16 days ago, Theresa May called a General Election, why couldn’t today’s local poll have moved to the day of the General Election?
We’ve had local and General Elections on the same day previously and with polling station costs and staffing issues, how much of council taxpayers’ money could have been saved?
Not to mention the local candidates enjoying a shared turnout with the Parliamentary elections that they would only normally dream about.
Perhaps someone within the local authority can explain why we didn’t have all the polls on June 8, and in the process save possibly thousands of pounds which, in turn, could be spent on other more deserving projects?
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