Local Government Elections Bill
A Bill that will lead to local government elections being held on a separate day from Scottish Parliamentary elections has been published today.
The decision to decouple the elections was taken by the Scottish Government following a recommendation from the Independent Review of the Scottish Parliamentary and Local Government Elections (the Gould Report).
Welcoming publication of the Bill, Bruce Crawford, Minister for Parliamentary Business said:
"Local Government elections are an important part of the democratic system in Scotland. Our councils do a vital job and it is right that elections to these bodies are given their proper place, rather than overshadowed by national elections on the same day.
"The Gould Report came up with recommendations aimed at ensuring there could be no repeat of the problems in the 2007 elections. We accepted those recommendations, one of which was to hold the local government elections on a separate date from the Scottish Parliamentary elections. There is widespread support for this approach.
"Holding the elections on different dates will help eliminate the voter confusion that was experienced in 2007 and give Scottish local government elections the prominence they deserve."
The consultation on decoupling elections began in March 2008.
As a result of the change proposed in the Bill, the next local government elections in Scotland will take place in 2012. The dates of future Scottish Parliamentary elections will be unaffected.
The second part of the Bill includes provisions to allow certain post election information which is already available at ward level, to be made available at sub ward (or polling station) level.