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Exeter Lib Dems claim Tories undermine local democracy

February 8, 2021 1:35 PM
Michael Mitchell Exeter

Cllr Mike Mitchell

The intention of the Tory government to proceed with local and PCC elections on 6th May during the current pandemic has been sharply criticised by Exeter City Councillor Michael Mitchell who is also Chair of Exeter Liberal Democrats, as a threat to local democracy.

The regulations currently in place prevent local campaigning, party volunteers delivering leaflets and the ability of candidates to meet voters.

The regulations state that any political literature has to be commercially delivered. Whilst election spending limits have been raised,

this will only benefit the Tories and Labour whose business and trade union funding will cover the additional costs.

Smaller parties and independent candidates have difficulty enough during normal elections raising funds; these new regulations will severely impede the abilty of voters to know what is going on and who to vote for.

'The very least the government should do is allow all candidates a freepost delivery as in general elections', commented Cllr Kevin Mitchell,Liberal Democrat, Leader of the Progressive Group on Exeter City Council

These elections should be delayed until the entire UK population has have its second jab thereby; fully protecting the health of all those involved in the election process; voters, election officials, party workers and candidates.

To continue as if everything will be alright on the day, will undermine the whole creditability of the electoral process. These elections should be delayed until the Autumn at the earliest.

The turnout of voters is very likely to be much lower than usual undermining any sense of a mandate for those elected.