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This Order changes the date of local elections in England in 2009, so that it is the same as the date of the European Parliamentary elections in that year, and deals with a number of incidental, supplementary and consequential matters.
The ordinary day for local elections in England is usually the first Thursday in May in each year by virtue of section 37(1)(a) of the Representation of the People Act 1983 (“the Act”). However, that provision is subject to any order, such as this one, made under section 37A of the Act. Article 2 provides that the ordinary day of elections shall be changed to be the same as the date of the poll for the European Parliamentary elections. By virtue of section 15 of the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c.50), where the polls at an ordinary local government election and a European Parliamentary election are held on the same day they shall be taken together.
Article 3 provides that in relation to the 2009 elections, section 16(1) of the Representation of the People Act 1985 shall not apply (this section normally postpones for three weeks any parish elections due to take place on the same date as European Parliamentary elections).
Article 4 provides that the retirement date of any councillors due to retire in 2009 shall be determined in accordance with the ordinary day as moved under article 2, while that of any councillors coming into office in 2009 shall be unaffected by the change of ordinary day. The term of office of a councillor due to retire in 2009 will consequently be longer, and that of a councillor coming into office in 2009 will be shorter, than would otherwise be the case.
Article 5 extends, in relation to local elections in England, the period during which it is not necessary to hold a by-election prior to the ordinary day of elections, so that in relation to elections in 2009 this period will last from 7th November 2008 (the date on which this period would normally start) until the modified ordinary day of elections in 2009.
Article 6 extends the date by which joint authorities and police authorities in England must hold their annual meetings until 31st August, so that they can be held after any elections which may affect their composition. It also extends the date by which annual parish meetings in parishes which are having ordinary elections to the parish council in 2009 must take place to 1st July, so that they can be held after any such elections.
Article 7 provides for the European Parliamentary general elections in England in 2009 to be administered by reference to local authority areas rather than Parliamentary constituency areas, and for the local returning officer to be the person who administers local elections for that area.
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