Elections have been postponed for 12 months due to the coronavirus outbreak
The decision to postpone the election for Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has been endorsed by candidates from across the political divide.
The county’s serving Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd was last elected in 2016. And residents had been due to return to the polls on May 7 this year.
But on Friday the government’s Cabinet Office announced that elections – including May’s polls for local councils and police and crime commissioners – would be postponed for 12 months due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“We will bring forward legislation to postpone local, mayoral and Police and Crime Commissioner elections until May next year,” said a Cabinet Office spokesperson.
“We will also work with the devolved administrations to ensure that they have the necessary powers to do the same.”
Candidates for Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner elections had been on the verge of launching their campaigns.
But now serving Commissioner David Lloyd will continue in the role for an additional 12 months.
Commenting on the decision Conservative Mr Lloyd said that he supported the decision that had been taken by the government. And he committed to stand again in May 2021.
“I recognise that during this time of a serious national emergency that all steps must be taken to protect the public,” said Mr Lloyd.
“That has necessitated the delay of the proposed election until next year. I fully support the government in taking this step during these difficult times.
“My intention is to carry on serving the public for the next year and be a candidate for the election in May 2021.”
Meanwhile Liberal Democrat Lara Pringle – a serving councillor in Dacorum who had been about to launch her formal campaign – has also welcomed the decision.
She said: “I think it’s unfortunate, but I completely understand why the elections have been postponed. I am not sure what other realistic options there were.
“I think we are in a time of unprecedented national crisis and its important that we are all able to focus on keeping each other safe and supporting each other in the best way we can.”
Cllr Pringle said that in her campaign she had been keen to highlight a number of issues.
She says she is particularly concerned about domestic violence in the county – where she says reports are increasing but charges are falling.
The Labour Party was still in the process of finalising a candidate for the Police and Crime Commissioner election in Hertfordshire when the announcement was made. But local officials say the postponement is “sensible”.
A spokesperson for the Party said: “Labour had called on the government to call-off these elections.
“In the light of the coronavirus pandemic, the priority for the government must be to ensure the well-being of the public and it’s sensible for these elections not to proceed this year."