Local Government: Elections

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 9th February 2021.

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Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Labour, Kingston upon Hull North

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department has made of the number of people who can safely attend the counts of the local elections in May 2021 in the context of the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Labour, Kingston upon Hull North

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when his Department plans to publish advice for returning officers organising the counts of the local elections in May 2021.

Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Labour, Kingston upon Hull North

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department has made of the steps required to make buildings used (a) as polling stations and (b) for counts during the local elections in May 2021 covid-secure.

Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Labour, Kingston upon Hull North

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what guidance his Department plans to issue to local authorities in the event that they are unable to secure insurance cover for covid-19 for volunteers and employees attending buildings used (a) as polling stations and (b) for counts during the local elections in May 2021.

Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Labour, Kingston upon Hull North

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what discussions his Department (a) has had and (b) plans to have with local authority leaders on ensuring that the May 2021 local elections are covid-secure.

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 discussions he has had with the electoral sector on the challenges of recruiting polling staff for the upcoming May 2021 elections as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

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, whether he plans to make the wearing of masks mandatory in polling stations for the May 2021 elections.

Photo of Helen Hayes Helen Hayes Labour, Dulwich and West Norwood

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on funding for local authority programmes to encourage postal voting for the 2021 elections.

Photo of Julia Lopez Julia Lopez Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office), The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

Democracy should not be cancelled because of covid. The Government has confirmed that the set of local and PCC elections scheduled for May will go ahead, and made a firm commitment that the Government will support the sector to deliver them.

The Government has published a clear Delivery Plan for the May elections, setting out how the Government will support local elections teams to deliver effective polls that are covid-secure for voters and staff.

Further guidance for all those involved in the elections will be available in due course and well in advance of the polls.

As has been the case under successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not usually disclosed. Details of ministers' meetings with external organisations and individuals are published on gov.uk periodically.

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