Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting CHNEWS to 80360, or email
Craven District Council rejects bid to reduce election expense
10:20am Saturday 28th July 2012 in News
Possible changes to Craven’s electoral cycle have been rejected by councillors.
A move to all-out elections held once every four years would have saved Craven District Council around £20,000 a year.
It would also have brought it into line with all other district councils in North Yorkshire, apart from Harrogate.
Supporters of four-yearly elections, including council leader Coun Chris Knowles-Fitton, say they create stability and stronger leadership because they are less disruptive and also save the council and political parties money.
But the council’s policy committee voted against even taking the step of going out to consultation.
The council last considered all-out elections three years ago when it was similarly rejected.
But with the council facing having to make more savings from next year of around £340,000 spread over three years, councillors were asked to look again at making the changes from 2014.
The council has operated its current system of elections by thirds since it was formed in 1974. Each councillor serves a term of four years, with district council elections taking place three out of four years and North Yorkshire County Council elections taking place in the fourth year.
A move to whole council elections would mean Craven council elections would take place once every four years.
In his report to the policy committee, head of democratic services Colin Iveson said there was a strong case for moving to whole council elections.
“Not least of the strengths are the efficiencies to be gained by the council in terms of enabling longer term planning and reduction in budget costs over a four-year period,” he said. “The result would be more effective and efficient local government through strong leadership and business planning, and less disruption to the council’s functioning.”
Mr Iveson, who listed a potential weakness as a lack of continuity if a lot of new councillors came in at one election, said there would initially be some disruption.