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Whole Council Elections

Whole Council Elections

Move to Whole Council Elections for Barrow Borough Council

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 change. 

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. 

Download Explanatory Document – Details of New Electoral Scheme (MS Word 35KB).



Have your say on local elections  

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 proposals.


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 years.


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 following benefits: 

  • 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 Elections.
  • 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 same time.