Police and crime commissioner poll put back because of coronavirus

The police and crime commissioner elections due to take place this year have been postponed for twelve months because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The vote had been due to take place on 7th May on the same day as local elections, which have also been put back.

Votes were due to be cast on 7th May

Votes were due to be cast on 7th May

The government said the situation made it impractical to allow voting to go ahead, because the timing was likely to coincide with a peak in the number of cases of the virus.

Current Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw, who was seeking a third term of office, said the postponement of the poll was “the only sensible option”.

“We all need to focus our efforts now on public health and supporting the most vulnerable, not fighting elections.

“My office will continue doing everything we can to ensure that services continue and people are kept as safe as possible,” the Labour politician said.

His Tory challenger for the post, Andrew Snowdenm said: “Whilst it’s hugely disappointing that the election has been cancelled, as we had such a positive plan to make Lancashire safer, people’s health and well-being should always come first.

“There will be huge sighs of relief from the Labour camp - from the PCC down to local councillors - who had been put on notice by voters for simply failing to deliver what communities across Lancashire need. We’ll see them at the ballot box in a year’s time,”

In Lancashire, the six district councils which elect their representatives in thirds, across three years out of every four - Preston, Chorley, Burnley, West Lancashire, Pendle and Hyndburn - were all due to go to the polls this year.

The other six - and Blackpool Council - elect every four years and held a vote only last May. Lancashire County Council is not due to hold an election until next year.