How will Local Elections be COVID-19 secure?

Local Elections planned for May 7. Picture: Archant.

Local Elections in Welwyn Hatfield - Credit: Archant

With the 2021 Local Elections still scheduled for May, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council has said how they will make the day COVID-19 secure. 

This year, residents across the borough are set to go to the polls to vote for their borough and county councillors and police and crime commissioner. 

And at a Welwyn Hatfield full council meeting on Monday, February 1, Labour borough councillor Max Hollway asked for clarity on the measures being recommended to councils in order to make the 50 plus polling stations coronavirus-secure in the borough. 

Welwyn Hatfield borough councillor Max Holloway. Picture: Supplied by Cllr Holloway

Welwyn Hatfield borough councillor Max Holloway. Picture: Supplied by Cllr Holloway - Credit: Archant

Conservative councillor Fiona Thomson, executive member, governance, public health and climate change, answered by saying: “Like all councils in this same position, we are closely monitoring and will strictly follow all government guidance on the subject, as well as that of bodies such as the Association of Electoral Administrators (AEA).

"In addition, if additional requirements come forward from any such guidance, we will take steps to also put these into place. Further, all returning officers are working with and seeking guidance from the director of public health and their safety officers.

Cllr Fiona Thomson. Picture: Harry Hubbard

Cllr Fiona Thomson. Picture: Harry Hubbard - Credit: Archant

"In order to ensure that polling stations are safe places for voters, staff and other attendees, the following are the proposed arrangements the council will be putting into place, which will be similar to the measures the public have become used to over recent months in shops and banks, such as hand sanitiser, floor markings and face coverings."

There will also be additional signage to remind voters of the need to follow public health guidelines, additional pencils for those that don't bring their own pen which will be from a spare stock of single-use or ‘cleaned’ pencils and additional staff will also be needed to manage queues and to advise voters to follow public health guidance. 

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As well as regular cleaning throughout the day of touchpoints, such as doors, polling booths and any writing implements. 

Local Elections are likely to be held on May 6. To register to vote please go here