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Elections Act 2001

England and Wales

Section 1: Postponement of local government elections in England and Wales.

17.Section 1 provides for local government elections in England and Wales to be postponed.

18.Subsection (1) provides that where the ordinary date of election would otherwise have been 3 May 2001, it is postponed to 7 June 2001. Section 203(1) of the Representation of the People Act 1983 defines “local government election”, and section 37(1) of that Act sets the ordinary day of election.

19.Subsection (2) provides that any by-elections to fill casual vacancies which would otherwise have been held in the period 3 May - 6 June 2001, will take place on 7 June 2001.

20.Subsection (3) provides that a person validly nominated as a candidate at an election which has been postponed need not be nominated again. This is to be the case even though the timetable for matters including nomination under rule 1 of the election rules will work by reference to the postponed election date. The election rules are contained in Schedule 2 to the Local Elections (Principal Areas) Rules 1986 (S.I. 1986/2214).

21.Subsection (4) provides that in cases where a candidate has been declared elected because the number of nominations does not exceed the number of vacancies at the close of nominations for 3 May, (or after the last time for withdrawal of nominations) such a declaration will have no effect. However, the effect of subsection (5) is that if, after the last time for withdrawal of nominations for the election on 7 June, the election is still uncontested the person may be declared elected.

22.Subsection (6) deals with councils' annual meetings. Schedule 12 to the Local Government Act 1972 provides that in years in which they have no ordinary elections councils are required to hold an annual meeting in March, April or May. This is extended to include June so that it can, if the council wishes, be held after any postponed by-elections to fill casual vacancies have been held.

23.Subsection (7) increases the election expenses limits of all candidates in the postponed elections (whenever they were nominated) by 50%.

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