Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner count to be delayed by Bank Holiday changes

The count for the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner election will be delayed by this year’s shifted bank holiday.

By Ben O'Connell
Monday, 24th February 2020, 6:36 pm

Voters in the Northumbria force area will go to the polls on Thursday, May 7, for the second PCC poll in 10 months.

Labour’s Kim McGuinness was elected to the post in a 2019 by-election sparked by the resignation of party colleague Dame Vera Baird, who stepped down after being appointed as the new national victims’ commissioner.

The 2020 vote is the scheduled election based on the four-year terms for the PCC role, to ensure Northumbria remains in line with the rest of the country.

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Polling day is Thursday, May 7, but the count, in Sunderland, will not take place until Monday, May 11, because the early May bank holiday, originally set for Monday, May 4, has been moved to Friday, May 8, to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

However, Georgina Hill, the Northumberland county councillor for Berwick East, who will be running as an independent PCC candidate again after her second-placed finish last year, has expressed concerns.

“For transparency, public confidence and every good reason, ballot boxes should be moved as little as possible and election counts should take place as quickly as possible after the polls have closed,” Coun Hill said.

“While there are always practical considerations, I do not buy that there would be any issue with getting election staff to take half-a-day to help with this count on late Thursday or early Friday and get time in lieu or other recompense.”

The Northumbria Police area returning officer, Patrick Melia, said: “Polling day for the 2020 Northumbria Area Police and Crime Commissioner election is Thursday, May 7.

“Previous crime commissioner counts and declarations in 2012, 2016 and 2019 have been held on the next working day.

“The result will be announced from the area returning centre in Sunderland on Monday, May 11.”

Residents in Northumberland’s Alnwick ward will likely also be electing a new county councillor on May 7, after Robbie Moore became the new MP for Keighley, West Yorkshire, in December. He was the Conservative PCC candidate at last July’s election.