Cash-saving election debacle

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Councillor Paul Jones has slammed his Tory colleagues for not backing Labour proposals to change elections to once every four years – which he claims could save cash-strapped Amber Valley Borough Council £250,000.

On Monday, councillors voted on whether to change from elections by thirds – whereby a third of the council is voted every year for three years, with no election on the fourth year – to one full council election every four years.

Cllr Jones said: “This move would have made elections simpler for residents and would make a substantial saving for the council.

“The conservatives did say they would back the proposals, but sadly on the night they didn’t.”

But the Conservatives were quick to rebuff Cllr Jones’s criticism.

Cllr Alan Cox, deputy leader for the conservative group,said: “We would have supported them, but not on the silly timetable they suggested. It’s vital that all areas have elections on the same year, or else voters get confused and turned-off. I made an amendment to start the full council elections in 2019. This is midway between the county council elections and the same as other local authorities.

“If the amendment had been accepted, we would have voted for it.”