Hartlepool council moves closer to one all-out election every four years

Councillors in Hartlepool have backed changes to the constitution which move them one step closer to having all-out elections every four years.

Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 5:19 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 5:21 pm

Currently elections are scheduled for a third of all councillors on Hartlepool Borough Council each year, except every fourth year when there is no election.

Last month Hartlepool Borough Council Constitution Committee unanimously backed looking at altering this to have all-out elections every four years, starting in 2024, which received support at the latest full council meeting.

The council will now carry out a consultation with “such persons they think appropriate”, with good practice guidance suggesting a 12-week period “would be appropriate”.

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Once consultation has been completed a special meeting of full council is required to be convened for a motion which must then be approved by a two thirds majority.

Council officers previously estimated the move would provide an annual budget saving of at least £35,000, and potentially “£50,000, or even higher”, if combined with other regional elections.

The move was part of a wider collection of changes to the constitution which were approved by councillors.

Alterations to come in will include changing the way public questions are asked by residents at full council meetings, by increasing the number of supplementary questions without notice to “up to two”.

Changes will also include allowing the residents to read their own questions and increasing the membership of the audit and governance committee.

Cllr Shane Moore, council leader, praised the proposals and said they came after “really good debate”.

Cllr Jonathan Brash, deputy leader of the Labour Group, was pleased by the changes but also disappointed that a number of other suggestions were not supported.