Local Government: Elections

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 11th January 2021.

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Photo of Andrew Gwynne Andrew Gwynne Labour, Denton and Reddish

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the answer of 1 October 2020 to Question 94353, and with reference to the covid-19 outbreak, what plans the Government has to delay the 2021 local elections in England.

Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the implications of delaying municipal and local elections in May 2021.

Photo of Steve Reed Steve Reed Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether it is his Department's policy that elections scheduled for May 2021 go ahead as planned.

Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Engagement

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the May 2021 elections, whether he plans to change emergency proxy voting rules in light of the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Engagement

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans the Government has to plan for potential shortages in poll staffing caused by the covid-19 outbreak in advance of the May 2021 local elections.

Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Engagement

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans the Government has to tackle the potential challenge of recruiting polling staff due to the fact that a high number of polling staff are retired or elderly and in the at risk category under covid-19 guidance.

Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Engagement

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that supplier capacity for the running of the May 2021 local election elections is not affected by the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Engagement

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that people who have been advised to shield during the covid-19 outbreak are able to vote in the May 2021 local elections.

Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Engagement

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that people who are symptomatic of covid-19 and instructed to self-isolate (a) on the day of the May 2021 local elections and (b) the day before those elections are still able to cast their vote.

Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Engagement

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans he has to ensure that the appropriate provision of personal protective equipment used during the covid-19 outbreak is provided to poll staff ahead of the May 2021 local elections.

Photo of Daisy Cooper Daisy Cooper Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Education)

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether (a) the local elections planned for May 2021 will go ahead as planned and (b) polling stations will be (i) accessible and (ii) covid-19 secure.

Photo of Chloe Smith Chloe Smith Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

Primary legislation states that the elections will go ahead in May 2021.

We continue to work closely with the electoral community, including electoral suppliers, and public health bodies to resolve challenges and ensure everyone will be able to cast their vote safely and securely - and in a way of their choosing.

Measures are planned to support absent voting at short notice. Guidance will be published in good time ahead of the polls and this matter will be kept under review. The House will be kept updated.

The Government has also engaged with the Parliamentary Parties Panel to ensure that views from political parties are taken on board.

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