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Village may have to hit the polls a month before Senedd elections

24 Feb 2021 2 minutes Read
Llanrug

Gareth Williams, local democracy reporter

Despite preparations being well underway for Wales’ national elections in May, voters in one Gwynedd village may be asked to go to the polls even sooner.

The Llanrug ward on Gwynedd Council remains vacant since the death of former councillor Charles Wyn Jones last November, who’d represented the village since local government reorganisation in 1995.

But with nominations for the seat set to close on Friday, any subsequent contest would see voters in the village go to the polls on March 25.

It has not been possible to hold elections in Wales since the passing of emergency legislation due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which included any by-elections and the Police and Crime Commissioner poll which had been pencilled in for May 2020.

But in January, the Welsh Government confirmed that authorities have been provided a window to hold elections from March 1.

‘Postponed’

A spokesperson said: “Local Government by-elections in Wales may take place between 1 March and 6 May 2021.

“The 10-week window has been provided to allow Returning Officers to hold the postponed by-elections at a time that is suitable for their local circumstances and allows for the changing public health situation in different parts of Wales to be taken into account when planning.”

With Wales also set to also hit the polling booths on May 6 for the Welsh Parliament’s General Election, the Senedd has given itself the ability to delay May’s election by up to six months if it’s decided that holding the nationwide poll would not be feasible due to Covid-19.

Any candidates wishing to contest the Llanrug seat must submit their nomination papers by 4pm on Friday. For more information see here.

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