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Local and Mayoral elections to go ahead in England in May

Local and Mayoral elections to go ahead in England in May

It has been confirmed that local and mayoral elections will take place in England in May this year.

The UK Government is to give councils around an extra £30m according to reports to make polling stations COVID-safe, including through measures such as installing plastic screens and providing hand sanitiser stations. 

The elections had previously been under review due to concerns over the health risks of holding elections during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Police and crime commissioner elections will also take place in England and Wales on 6 May, while Scottish Parliament and Welsh Senedd elections (which are organised by the devolved administrations) are scheduled to take place.    

People will be able to apply for a postal vote as usual, however, voting by post will not be mandatory.

The announcement that the elections will go ahead comes as the Government has said that it aims to offer a coronavirus vaccine to all the first nine priority groups set out by the JCVI by May (which includes people over 50).

Some have though raised concerns about the scale of the logistical operation required for elections to take place in May, with many community venues that may usually be used as polling stations currently being used for Coronavirus response efforts - including as vaccination centres.

A number of elections have taken place around the world during the Coronavirus pandemic, including the US President Election last November.

In recent weeks, Coronavirus case rates have fallen significantly across the UK, however, the number of people dying with the virus remains high. On Friday, a further 1,014 deaths within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test were reported, taking the UK's reported death toll from the pandemic to 111,264 people.

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