The recharging of election costs to town and parish councils for the cost of elections - Cotswold District

Please see statement form Cotswold District Council.

As you know, a report was initially tabled for the December meeting of Cabinet. We were considering charging town and parish councils for their elections for two reasons: (i) the overall financial position of the Council means we need to look to make savings and increase revenue and (ii) elections are of direct benefit to the relevant parishes and towns and can be argued should be paid for by their councils rather than the District Council.

Following your feedback we agreed to defer the item until the Cabinet meeting on 10 January 2022 and in the intervening period we ran two engagement sessions to work with you on the proposal and make sure your views were heard.

Thank you to everyone who attended the sessions, they were very useful and we had some really good quality constructive debate. It was clear that there was strong feeling from those who attended that there should have been more proactive communication about the proposals which we have taken on-board for future decisions. It was also apparent that attendees felt more time to allow town and parish councils to prepare and plan for meeting any costs associated with elections would be welcome, ideally as part of a phased financial approach and over a longer time period than originally proposed (May 2023).

Following these meetings, we have worked to include your feedback and so we amended the approach to extend the period for which you can amend your precept and phase in the costs over the next 4 year term as follows:

  • for contested 4-yearly elections at a rate of 50% in 2023 and 100% in 2027;
  • for contested by-elections at the following rates from 1 April each year:
    • 2024 = 50%
    • 2025 = 75%
    • 2026 = 100%

We agreed this recommendation at Cabinet on Monday 10 January and you can access the final report here. If you want you can also watch the discussion at the meeting here.

To help you budget for this change, an estimate will be sent out in October this year for the May 2023 elections. At that time, an up-to-date estimate for conducting a by-election in your area will also be provided. The figures previously supplied for each council are contained within the Cabinet report linked above. They are the charges town and parish councils would be asked to pay at 100%.

Should you need any figures or information, please do contact Sarah Dalby our Electoral Services Manager who will be happy to answer any questions.

Kind regards,

Cllr Joe Harris
Leader of Cotswold District Council

Posted: Tue, 18 Jan 2022 15:13 by Alison Robinson

Tags: CDC, Cotswold District Council, Cotswolds, Elections, election charges