All hands on deck - councils scramble to host snap general election in “very tight timescale”

Norwich local council election count and declarations in Open, Bank Plain. Photo: Steve Adams

Norwich local council election count and declarations in Open, Bank Plain. Photo: Steve Adams

Counting teams across the region are preparing to put in double shifts as two elections in quick succession loom in Norfolk.

And as districts scramble to put plans in place after the surprise snap general election announcement this week, difficulties include finding a venue to hold the count on June 8.

With their team 'already in election mode' for the county council vote on May 4, Broadland District Council immediately began scoping venues after Theresa May's reveal on Tuesday morning.

Phil Kirby, chief executive and returning officer for Broadland District Council, said they are 'busy looking at what needs to be done in a very short space of time.'

'The key thing for us is to find a venue, which at such short notice can prove problematic,' he said. 'There are a couple of options we are considering, and once we have sorted that out we can start planning in earnest for the election itself.

You may also want to watch:

'We have everyone in place for the election in May and we will be testing out people's willingness to reappear a month later to staff that election. We have a good starting point and a body of people ready to participate in May. We have an excellent election team and it is a matter of them continuing through an extra period.

'It is a very tight timescale and there will be around three days after the proclamation for candidates to put their nominations in.'

Most Read

Norwich City Council said they are also they are in early talks with count and polling station venues.

A South Norfolk Council spokesman said their team works with 'proven, streamlined processes' to respond to any situation.

'We have contingency plans that can be actioned as soon as an election is called,' they said.

A King's Lynn and West Norfolk Council spokesman said the snap election will 'put pressure on electoral services'.

'A snap election will require a massive effort not only from the elections team but from other staff as well. The timetable will be set out by the electoral commission and staff will, as always, do everything humanly possible to ensure a smooth, well-run election.'

A spokesperson for Waveney District Council said: 'Although the announcement came as a surprise, snap elections are always something we must be prepared for. The shorter lead in time is not a concern and we have the resources and experience in place to ensure we deliver a smooth election on June 8.'

The cost of a general election to district councils in Norfolk can be anywhere from £120,000 to £170,000. Election day in Norwich involves 110 count staff working through the night and 200 poll station staff working 7am to 10pm.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter