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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Civic Suite, Lewisham Town Hall, London SE6 4RU

Contact: Kevin Flaherty 0208 3149327 

Items
No. Item

12.

Election of Chair and Vice Chair pdf icon PDF 18 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that Councillor Ami Ibitson be elected as Chair and Councillor

Stella Jeffrey be elected as Vice-Chair for the Municipal Year 2013-14.

13.

Declaration of interests pdf icon PDF 33 KB

Minutes:

There were none.

14.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 19 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on November 7 2011 be

confirmed and signed as a correct record.

15.

GLA Review 2012 pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Minutes:

The report was introduced by the Head of Law who concluded that the

election process had been relatively smooth and well run.

 

Councillor Hall queried the number of votes which had been rejected and was

told by the Electoral Services Manager  that procedures pertaining to postal

voting were heavily prescribed and only now would the Council be able to

write to postal voters whose ballots had been rejected, setting out the reasons

for the invalidation unless fraud was suspected.

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted.

16.

Combined elections 2014 pdf icon PDF 181 KB

Minutes:

The report was introduced by the Head of Law who confirmed GLA staff had

been recruited by the Chief Executive to support him in his additional role as

Regional Returning Officer.

 

Councillor Jeffrey asked for further information about contact made with ‘G’

voters. The Electoral Services Manager said there was a prescribed form that

potential voters had to sign and return. He said 17,000 forms had been posted

and 3,000 had been returned to date and that an overall return rate of about

30% was expected. Members requested that they be sent a sample of the

letter sent to ‘G’ voters for their information.

 

The Head of Law outlined arrangements for the election counts which would

be held in Holly Hedge House in Blackheath. She said the venue allowed for

only 130 counters rather than the 180 deployed in the larger hall used for the

2010 counts. She added that the timetabling of counts over several days

would allow a key core team of officers who had overseen previous elections

to again be present at all counts.

 

Councillor Curran expressed strong concern over the timing of the local

authority count which his research indicated would be the latest in London. He

asked that this count be advanced to Friday May 23.

 

The Head of Law said the timing of counts was a decision for the Returning

Officer and that comparisons with other boroughs were not possible as they

had use of larger venues allowing more counting staff and that most were not

also holding an election for a directly elected Mayor.

 

Councillor John Paschoud said he accepted the officer advice on count

timings but he urged the public relations aspects to be addressed and a

communications strategy put in place to inform voters about the delays in

issuing results. He also inquired about the design of postal voting packs and

was informed that the proofs could be supplied to Committee members for

information but that the design was prescribed by law and could not be

amended.

 

Councillor Jeffrey queried the use of DLC3 in paragraph 11.7 of the report and

was informed this had been approved already and that polling districts would

be the subject of statutory review after the elections.

 

Councillor Hall urged Officers to reconsider their plans for the election counts,

especially if Lewisham was the only borough in London to be counting local

authority wards on a Saturday. He suggested Council staff be surveyed to see

if any had significant experience of running elections and if not enough were

available, other senior staff should be trained to undertake the roles.

The Chair suggested that the Chief Executive be asked to review the plans

to see if viable alternatives could be suggested. Councillor Curran added

that one solution might be the erection of a marquee in the enormous Holly

Hedge House parade ground. Councillor Hall wondered if relinquishing the

role of Regional Returning Officer could add capacity. Councillor Paschoud

added that if the final outcome was that the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

IER update pdf icon PDF 169 KB

Minutes:

The report was introduced by the Head of Law who concluded that the

outcome of Individual Elector Registration could be the loss of one million

registered voters from electoral rolls in London.

 

Members expressed deep concern about the possible loss of so many voters

from electoral rolls and the Chair suggested the Elections Committee should

meet again in the Autumn of 2014 to review the impact of Individual Elector

Registration. She added that officers should also consider organising an all

member briefing on this topic prior to any meeting of the Committee.

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted.

 

The meeting closed at 7.42pm