Move to Whole Council Elections
Following the consultation outlined below, the views received
from residents and stakeholders were taken into account when the
Council decided whether or not to go forward with the proposed
At an Extraordinary meeting of the Council on 21st April 2009
the Council resolved to move from the holding of Ordinary elections
by thirds, to whole-council elections for all Councillors of the
Borough Council to come into effect for the May elections in 2011
and every four years after. An explanatory document, setting out
details of the new electoral scheme as it applies to the Council
can be inspected at Central Reception, Barrow Borough Council, Duke
Street, Barrow LA14 2LD or by clicking on the link below.
Explanatory Document – Details of New Electoral Scheme (MS Word
Have your say on local
The Council wishes to change the way that future Barrow Borough
Council elections are held and wish to consult you before we make a
final decision. We will also be consulting all key stakeholders on
The present system – ‘electing by thirds’
Currently, elections for one third of the Council’s seats are
held three years out of every four (in May). This means that all
seats are elected once during that period. Wards with a single
district councillor have an election once every four years.
Residents in wards with more than one seat get to choose a
representative two or three times during the four-year cycle.
The proposed change - ‘all out’ elections
The Council have suggested that it would be better if elections
to all seats took place together at the same time, once every four
Did you know?
The Council is made up of 36 councillors. A councillor’s normal
term of office is four years, unless elected in an unscheduled
by-election. Whilst one ward has one councillor and another ward
has two councillors, the other 11 are represented by three. These
arrangements will continue whether the Council keeps the present
system or makes the proposed change.
The case for the proposed change to ‘all out’ elections
The Council believe that making this change will have the
- It would provide greater certainty in planning ahead over four
years, with less risk of annual changes of power and policy. New
councillors could still learn from more experienced ones.
- It would save £23,000 every year in the costs of running
- It would increase accountability through greater public
interest and higher voter turn-out, particularly in wards with more
than one district councillor.
- The present system can cause confusion and voter fatigue
through frequent elections in multi-councillor wards.
- It would raise the local profile of the elections. Every voter
could consider the local issues and choose their councillors at the