Local Government

27 Apr 2017

Where are the women in May's local election?

Jess Blair highlights the problem of diversity ahead of next week’s council elections. Since the Prime Minister’s unexpected announcement of a General Election last week there’s been little time to talk of anything else. Our 24 hour news cycle is now dominated by images of May, Corbyn et al traveling the country and trying to persuade us voters that they are the right choice to lead after June […]
2 Oct 2015

Revealed: the cost of one-party councils

If you’re reading this, you probably already know that First Past the Post hurts our democracy. But it might be hurting our pockets, too. Councils dominated by single parties could be wasting as much as £2.6bn a year through a lack of scrutiny of their procurement processes, according to a new report for us released today. The study – undertaken by Cambridge University academic Mihály Fazekas – […]
1 May 2015

Election Cancelled

There has been a shocking increase in the number of uncontested seats in some English councils up for election this May. The Eden District Council in Cumbria has already declared 21 of its 38 available seats, meaning that a clear majority of the council (55%) has been returned before the election has even taken place. This is up from 50% of seats in 2011. Similarly, in South Northamptonshire in […]
4 Mar 2015


I’m pleased to be going to Green Party conference at the ACC Liverpool this weekend, representing the ERS. Sign our petition to introduce proportional representation for local elections There’s lots to be discussed at the upcoming conference, as it’s an exciting time for the Greens in the run-up to the election, particularly with a rising membership. But the party has to deal with an extremely […]
4 Mar 2015

#MergerHeWrote: Peter Davies on democracy and the Future Generations Bill

Fresh from launching the ‘ Wales We Want’ report outlining the findings of a major consultation exercise on what kind of country people want for future generations, Peter Davies, Commissioner for Sustainable Futures outlines how the Welsh Government’s Future Generations Bill could improve democracy. Sustainable Development (SD) has been a distinctive dimension in the devolution process for Wales […]
manchester devolution
25 Feb 2015

Democratising Devo Manc

The ERS has long campaigned for devolution to the local level, but the Society also campaigns for proportional representation at a local level. Here ERS Deputy Chief Executive Darren Hughes outlines why they should go hand in hand. Sign our petition for a fairer local voting system The decision by the government to devolve responsibility for health funding - around £6 billion - to Greater […]
11 Feb 2015

#MergerHeWrote: Steve Reed MP on Sharing Power With Citizens

Our second article in the Merger He Wrote series is from guest writer Steve Reed. Steve is Labour MP for Croydon North, UK Shadow Minister for Crime Prevention, and Hon. President of the Cooperative Councils Innovation Network. He was Leader of Lambeth Council 2006-12. There are 24 councils in the Cooperative Councils Innovation Network right across the UK. Their aim is to transform the way they […]
4 Feb 2015

#MergerHeWrote: Leighton's Localism

In the first article of the ‘Merger, He Wrote’ series, Steve Brooks director of the Electoral Reform Society Cymru reflects on the Welsh Government’s new white paper on local democracy. For the last two decades, the story of Welsh devolution has been about the transfer of power from Westminster to Cardiff Bay. Little real thought was given to further devolution from Cardiff Bay to local councils […]
23 Jul 2014

Inside a rotten borough

This is a guest post by Craig Lawton, chairman of Swansea West Conservatives. The views, opinions and positions expressed within are those of the author alone and do not represent those of the Electoral Reform Society. A few weeks ago, while the majority of the population (or at least the majority of those that are interested in politics) had their eyes trained on the Newark by-election, a few […]
16 May 2014

38,000 denied a vote

Tens of thousands of people across England are being denied a vote in next week's local elections, owing to the undemocratic phenomenon of uncontested seats. In this year’s elections there are seven wards which are ‘uncontested’, ie which are only being contested by one political party. These uncontested wards are: Otmoor , Cherwell District Council (Conservative, Oxfordshire) Walton South , […]