Coronavirus: Worthing and Adur's May local elections postponed for a year

Local elections planned for May this year have been postponed amid safety concerns from the Coronavirus outbreak.

Residents of Adur and Worthing were set to go to the polls on May 7 to elect their local councillors, but national media including the BBC is now reporting voting will be pushed back by 12 months.

It follows a recommendation from the electoral commission yesterday afternoon (March 12), citing 'serious concerns' around public safety and the ability to campaign effectively.

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The electoral commission's chief executive, Bob Posner, had emailed Chloe Smith, the minister for constitution and devolution, expressing his concerns.

He said: "Clearly any decisions to delay elections which are due is significant and would not normally be desirable; however, we are in unprecedented times.

"The risks to delivery that have been identified are such that we cannot be confident that voters will be able to participate in the polls safely and confidently, nor that campaigners and parties will be able to put their case to the electorate.

"We therefore call on the Government to take steps to provide early clarity to all those with an interest in the electoral process; and on the available information and position we recommend the Government now delay the May 7 polls until the autumn.

"In this context we are also mindful that the chief executives of local authorities and their staff across the country are necessarily focussed on the ongoing management of the impacts Covid-19 (Coronavirus) is having on their localities."

Photo by Jes Aznar/Getty Images

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Coronavirus: Worthing and Adur's May elections could be delayed amid 'serious co...