Elections and referendums postponed in Wiltshire due to COVID-19
As legislation has now been published to confirm the postponement of national and local elections, by-elections and referendums during the coming months, Wiltshire Council has released details of the forthcoming polls affected in the county.
In Wiltshire, the Police and Crime Commissioner election, scheduled for 7 May, will now take place on 6 May 2021, the same day as the Wiltshire Council unitary elections and town and parish council elections. The current Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson, will remain in post until the next election.
The local by-elections and neighbourhood planning referendums affected by the legislation are:
- Bratton Parish Council by-election
- By Brook unitary division by-election
- Chippenham Town Council (Hardenhuish Ward)
- Clyffe Pypard Parish Council by-election
- Lydiard Millicent Neighbourhood Planning Referendum
- Malmesbury Town Council by-election
- Melksham Without Parish Council by-election
- North Bradley Neighbourhood Planning Referendum
- Seagry Neighbourhood Planning Referendum
- Tockenham Neighbourhood Planning Referendum
All of the above unitary and parish and parish vacancies that triggered the by-elections will remain unfilled until the four-yearly cycle of council elections on 6 May 2021, and all affected neighbourhood planning referendums will also be held on that date. However, this situation will be kept under review, and if safe to do so, further legislation will be laid that will permit by-elections and referendums sooner than 6 May 2021.
Terence Herbert, Wiltshire Returning Officer and Counting Officer, said: "This legislation brings confirmation that all elections and referendums are postponed until 2021 due to COVID-19, and we won't be acting upon any future requests for by-elections and neighbourhood planning referendums until further notice.
"Please follow government advice and stay home to save lives and protect the NHS, and when things improve this vital element of democratic process can resume once again."
As the By Brook division is currently vacant, any residents who wish to contact a councillor to discuss an issue should contact Cllr Philip Whitehead, Leader of Wiltshire Council, on firstname.lastname@example.org; or, for planning enquiries, residents of the By Brook division should contact Cllr Toby Sturgis, Cabinet Member for Spatial Planning, Development Management and Investment, on email@example.com.
Any town and parish council by-elections that have had to be postponed have a vacancy that cannot currently be filled. In these areas, residents should contact their town or parish council directly to access the support they would usually receive from their parish councillor.