Police and Crime Commissioner , Tees Valley Combined Authority & Borough By Election
Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC)
The PCC oversees the running of local police services and holds the Chief Constable to account on behalf of local people. The role involves:
- Securing an efficient and effective police service within their area
- Setting the local budget, and raising the local policing precept from Council Tax
- Deciding what the key priorities should be for the police in their area, and publishing a Police and Crime Plan that reflects this
- The appointment, suspension and dismissal of the Chief Constable and
- Publishing an Annual Report
PCC's may stand for a political party, however, they are expected to represent all the people in their area impartially and are required to swear an 'Oath of Impartiality' before taking office.
The election will be co-ordinated across County Durham by the Police Area Returning Officer (PARO), who is based at Durham County Council[external link], however local arrangements for Darlington will be delegated to the Local Returning Officer. More details can be found on the Police and Crime Commissioner website [external link]
The Electoral Commission and Mencap have produced an Easy Read Guide to Voting in the May Local and Police and Crime Commissioner Elections in England [external link]
Tees Valley Combined Authority Mayor (TVCA)
The TVCA was created in April 2016 and is a partnership of five authorities, namely Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees.
The election will be co-ordinated across the Tees Valley area by the Combined Authority Returning Officer (CARO), who is based at Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council[external link], however local arrangements for Darlington will be delegated to the Local Returning Officer.
Further information on the TVCAM elections can be found on the Tees Valley Combined Authority Returning Officer website [external link].
The Electoral Commission and Mencap have produced anEasy Read Guide to Voting in the May Local and Combined Authority Elections in England.
Darlington Borough Council By Elections
By Elections to fill the vacancies in the Office of Councillor for the Red Hall and Lingfield and the Hummersknott Wards, following the resignation of Councillors Sam Howarth and Paul Howell respectively, will also be held on Thursday 6 May 2021.
A copy of the Nomination Pack is available here [pdf document] or can be obtained from the Elections Office, Town Hall, Feethams, Darlington, DL1 5QT, between 10.00 am and 3.00 pm Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays). Appointments will need to be made by telephoning 01325 405803 to make to collect a pack. Further information and guidance on standing as a candidate can be found on the Electoral Commission's website.
Election timetable and notices
The Election Timetable for all the elections and the various notices can be found here.
Please be assured that polling stations will be safe places in which to vote, and you will see many of the covid-secure measures that you might see at supermarkets, banks, or similar. Social distancing will be encouraged, and staff and electors will be expected to wear a face covering, unless medically exempt.
Sanitising stations will be available, and regular cleaning of polling booths will take place throughout the day. Here is an up to date list polling stations [pdf document]
Register to vote
If you’re already registered to vote, you will be sent a polling card on or around the 26 March. If you are not currently registered, you must do so before Monday, 19 April 2021, to be able to vote in these elections.
Register to vote [external link], it takes just a few minutes and you will need your National Insurance Number.
Voting by post
Whilst arrangements are being made to ensure that Polling Stations will be Covid-secure on polling day, many may feel more comfortable voting by post.
To apply, please contact the Elections Team for an application form, or alternatively download the voting by post application form[pdf document]. If you wish to vote by post at these elections you must apply by 5pm on Tuesday, 20 April 2021.
When you come to post your Postal Vote back to us, it is useful to know that the Royal Mail have 35,000 'Priority Post Boxes', which have late collection times (generally after 16:00), and in many cases an earlier collection time as well. Many have later collection times on a weekend too.
These Priority Post Boxes were introduced to help with the collection and onward delivery of Covid Test Kits, but as Elections are also a priority mailing, electors may wish to use this enhanced collection service to ensure that their Postal Vote reaches us in a timely manner.
Problems with Postal Votes - Friday, 30 April 2021
Duplicate Postal Votes
We have received a number of calls from people informing us they have received duplicate postal vote packs. From further investigation it appears the problem concerns the despatch of postal votes packs to 370 voters. This group of voters are from all parts of the Borough, what they appear to have in common is the period when they registered for a postal vote.
As with most local authorities in the region election materials are printed by an external company with experience in producing election material. This includes the production and despatch of postal vote packs. The printers sent out duplicate postal voting packs by mistake.
We have written to the 370 voters to advise them of the problem. If you have received a duplicate postal vote pack, please let us know so we can follow this up. It would be helpful if you can send the duplicate back to the Town Hall – in an envelope marked ‘Duplicate PV’.
Anyone who has received a duplicate postal vote pack must not attempt to use it to vote more than once in the same election - this is an offence. We have screening measures in place to ensure the integrity of the election which will identify if anyone attempts to vote more than once in the same election.
Late Postal Vote Packs
If you have not received your postal vote please contact us. If you have received your postal vote but are not confident that you can post it back in time, then the completed postal vote envelope can be dropped off, by you or someone on your behalf, to the Town Hall any day up and including polling day or any polling station between 7am and 10pm on polling day (Thursday 6 May)
You can contact the Elections Team about these issues (or other election matters) on 01325 406444 or by email [email protected]. We will be working over the Bank Holiday weekend and you can call us from 9 – 5pm.
Voting by proxy
You can also appoint someone you trust to vote on your behalf - known as a proxy vote. To apply please contact the Elections Team for an application form or visit the Electoral Commission Website for further information and form to vote by Proxy. The deadline to apply is 5pm on Tuesday, 27 April 2021.