HL Deb 12 February 2004 vol 656 cc52-3WS
Lord Rooker

Following consultation with the Electoral Commission and other key stakeholders the following instruments have now been made and laid before Parliament:

  • The Local Elections (Principal Areas) (Amendment) (England and Wales) Rules 2004, SI No. 223
  • The Local Election (Parishes and Communities) (Amendment) (England and Wales) Rules 2004, SI No. 224
  • The Greater London Authority Elections (Amendment) Rules 2004, SI No. 227

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has also laid before Parliament, following consultation, the following draft instruments on which we are seeking the approval of the House:

  • The Local Elections (Ordinary Day of Election 2004) Order 2004
  • The European Parliamentary Elections Regulations 2004
  • The Representation of the People (Combination of Polls) (England and Wales) Regulations 2004
  • The Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2004
  • The Local Authorities (Mayoral Elections) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2004

As a package of measures these instruments would:

  • give effect to the Government's announced intention to move the date of the English local authority and Greater London Authority elections in 2004, so that they take place at the same time as the European Parliamentary elections, and make consequential amendments relating to:
    • the term of office of councillors affected by the postponement;
    • the six-month period during which by-elections need not be held;
    • the date of annual meetings for authorities affected by the postponement.
    • make provision for the conduct of European Parliamentary elections in Great Britain and Gibraltar;
    • provide revised rules for the combination of polls at all elections and also referendums pursuant to the Local Government Act 2000; and provide for other amendments to the Greater London Authority election rules.

A summary of the responses we received during consultation on the draft instruments has been made available in the Libraries of the House.