The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) welcomes the Electoral Commission’s recommendations to modernise the rules around standing for election and to make them clearer and fairer.
The report – ‘Standing for Election in the UK’ - highlights out of date practices such as only being able to submit nomination papers in person, and not being able to send them electronically. It also finds that there remains some confusion and inconsistency about what disqualifies someone for standing for election and includes proposals for addressing this.
Removing the financial barrier of paying a deposit but retaining subscriber requirements to help ensure candidates are genuinely contesting the election
Giving candidates easier access to the register for electoral purposes
Allowing candidates to combine information in free mailings where more than one election is taking place
NALC thinks having to hand in nomination papers especially in sparse rural areas where a candidate may have to travel more than 100 miles is a real impediment to local involvement especially at parish level.
Cllr Ken Browse, chair of NALC, confirmed that: “NALC welcomes these proposals and calls on the Government to implement as soon as possible."
“We recommend that the law is changed to allow nomination papers, consents to nomination, withdrawal notices, certificates of party authorisation and emblem requests to be submitted by post, email and fax for all elections in the UK, in addition to hand delivery. This would update this area of law, making standing for election more accessible.”