Somerset elections called off
This evening the Secretary of State for Local Government announced May elections would be cancelled. In a move that was not a massive surprise Somerset, Cumbria and North Yorkshire will retain sitting councillors. All three councils had asked for a postponement of elections.
Those elections will now take place in May 2022. New councillors will be elected for the new unitary authority or authorities. That depends on which option is selected by the Secretary of State – One Somerset or Stronger Somerset. Instead of elections the Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick, will launch a consultation. This will ask residents, businesses and others which of the two options you prefer.
What will not happen, and it is regrettable, is a proper referendum. However the Secretary of State chooses, it will be based on dubious evidence. It may well be that the results of the consultation are neither transparent or open to public scrutiny.
And in the meantime you can expect a lot of spending by both sides to win your hearts and minds.
The elections for the Police and Crime Commissioner will go ahead as planned.