Hertfordshire county councillor quashes rumours local elections to be cancelled by virus

Councillor says there are no plans to postpone local elections

Liberal Democrat councillor Chris White has spoken out to quash rumours that local elections may be postponed – due to coronavirus.

Hertfordshire County Council offices

Hertfordshire County Council offices

Cllr White told members of the county council’s Health Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday (March 4) that he had seen the rumours on social media.

But he spoke out at the meeting, to emphasise that the claims were not true and to ‘nail this on the head before anyone else raises it’.

Cllr White – who is a county councillor and also leader of St Albans City and District Council – said: “As part of the coronavirus rumour mill I have been reading on Facebook, and it’s not necessarily local, ‘oh yes, the the local elections are going to be cancelled’.

“No they are not.

“Nor indeed is there any plan to postpone them. This is not ‘foot and mouth’. And even if this were, and the outbreak were to get worse, it is not entirely clear why postponing the local elections would actually necessarily make things better.

“Were there to be a change, then we would have to have a look. But there is no indication whatever from central government at this stage that they want to fiddle around with the date of the local elections.”

Meanwhile the county council’s executive member for public health and prevention Cllr Tim Hutchings said the council was approaching any future elections in a ‘business as usual stance’.

At the meeting it was reported that advice on canvassing is to be send to councillors, in light of coronavirus.

In 2001, local elections – usually held on the first Thursday in May – were delayed during an outbreak of Foot and Mouth.