It won’t come as much of a surprise to your readers that we in Reform wholeheartedly endorse Graham Griffith’s comments in relation to the accountability and scrutiny of our county councillors and council officers.

In theory, councillors and officers are ‘held to account’ at elections. And yet, the Welsh Government (unbelievably) has them elected on a five year cycle.

Make a mistake in your first month and it’s a full five years before the electorate get to pass judgement on your decision making.

If this wasn’t bad enough, because there is so little civic education in UK schools, public understanding of what local authorities do (and at each level) is minimal.

On average, one in every three people votes in local elections. Low turnouts compound the issues around the infrequency of contests.


Reformers view themselves as the successors to the Levellers, Chartists and Suffragists - past campaigners for reform of Britain’s democracy.

The Chartists achieved all of their aims eventually (secret ballots, a universal franchise, and so on), with the sole exception of annual parliaments. Whilst a yearly election might be a touch ‘over the top’, Reform would be interested in compulsory elections perhaps every two years.

With our commitment to abolish the House of Lords and for its replacement with an elected Senate, elections every two years may be feasible (alternating between elections to either chamber of Parliament).

Given the (relatively) low stakes for issues at local authority level, perhaps annual elections for local authorities would be a welcome reform for keeping Councillors and council officers ‘on their toes’.

I would favour e-voting, by website or a smart phone App at local authority-level elections, making the process swift (and cheap!).
Oliver Lewis, Reform UK