9th May, 2021

Solihull and Meriden Labour Party call for all elections to be postal this May

Sarah Mason 26th Jan, 2021

A POLITICAL party is calling for all elections to be postal vote only this year to prevent them from being postponed again.

Solihull and Meriden Labour Party said it is ‘genuinely concerned’ the 2021 local elections as well as the rescheduled ones from last year could be postponed again or, possibly take place in a way that risks spreading the virus.

In 2020 all elections including West Midlands Mayor, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner and 17 seats on Solihull Council were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Earlier this month Prime Minister, Boris Johnson told MPs in the House of Commons that while the plan was still for local and mayoral elections, some of which were postponed from last year, to happen on May 6 in England, this remained “under review”.

Solihull and Meriden Labour Party say it believes a postal vote would be a relatively simple solution that allows the election to proceed to the usual timetable and importantly in a Covid-19 safe way.

In a statement the party said it is not acceptable for Solihull electors and council staff to be put at risk by expecting them to report to local polling stations.

Nick Stephens, chair of Solihull and Meriden Labour Party, said: “It would not be acceptable for Solihull residents to be denied, for the second year running, the right to vote for their elected representatives.

“But, neither would it be right, when we are nowhere near achieving population wide immunity, to expect any electors to have to visit polling stations.

“We also recognise that, particularly during lockdown, political parties must limit their campaigning and certainly not engage in face to face contact.

“That is why we are recommending that nominated candidates should be allowed to put a short statement in a booklet distributed in the postal vote mailing.

“We recognise that there will be some logistical challenges in making these changes but believe that these can be easily overcome.”

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