County council election counts to be delayed
- Credit: JAKE FOXFORD
Essex has decided to follow Suffolk's lead and count votes for the county council and its fire and police commissioner elections over two days stretching into the weekend after the May 6 poll.
But Colchester council will go ahead with counting votes for its borough election overnight - although the results will probably not be announced until dawn is breaking on the Friday morning.
In Suffolk it was always the intention to spread out the counting with county council election results being counted during the day on Friday and the PCC election being counted on the Saturday.
The only part of Suffolk with borough elections is Ipswich - and they are expected to be counted on Friday after the county council votes.
Originally Essex County Council had asked boroughs and districts to count their votes overnight - but it is understood there was concern about this from several of the rural districts and the decision was taken to change the plans in line with what is happening in other parts of the country.
This year's local elections are the largest seen in living memory - and will come after a year of no elections anywhere in the country because of the Covid pandemic.
The county council elections were always scheduled for this year - but the PCC elections had been due to take place last May. The current PCCs have served five years instead of the four that were intended - and those elected this year will serve a three-year term.
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The same is true of borough councillors elected this year in Ipswich and Colchester - this year's elections are effectively the 2020 poll which has been delayed for 12 months. There are also a few by-elections in other districts to replace councillors who have resigned or died over the last year.
This year many councils are trying to persuade as many people as possible to vote by post to reduce pressure on polling stations which have to be made Covid-safe and there are likely to be fewer than in a normal year.