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General election 2019

​A general election will take place on Thursday 12 December 2019. The deadline to register to vote is Tuesday 26 November 2019 and the deadline for postal vote registration is 5pm the same day.

Are you registered to vote?

In May 2016 you were given the opportunity to have a say on how you would like us to be run in the future and take part in a referendum.

We have had an Elected Mayor and Cabinet since 2005 and voters were asked in the referendum whether they want to retain this system or replace it with a Leader and Cabinet. The referendum provided a very important choice for Torbay and its people.

Results of the Governance Referendum
How would you like Torbay Council to be run? Number of Votes

By a mayor who is elected by voters.
This is how the council is run now.

9,511

By a leader who is an elected councillor chosen by a vote of the other elected councillors.
This would be a change from how the council is run now.

15,846
Rejected ballot papers
The no of ballot papers rejected No of ballot papers

A want of an official mark

0

B voting for more than one answer

24

C writing or mark by which voter could be identified

0

D being unmarked or wholly void for uncertainty

105

Total

129

Eligible Electorate: 100,853
Turnout:
25.27%

62.5% voted in favour of replacing the Elected Mayor and Cabinet with a Leader and Cabinet system. This will be adopted and come into effect from May 2019.

Frequently asked questions

There were two option:

  • Mayor and Cabinet system
  • Leader and Cabinet system

Leader and Cabinet

The Leader is an elected Councillor chosen by all the other elected Councillors.

The Leader is elected by the Council for a period of up to four years and can only be removed if there is a vote to do this which is supported by the majority of other Councillors.

There is no additional cost associated with the election of a Leader which would take place at a meeting of the Council.

The Leader and Cabinet presents a budget and major policies to the Council. They can be approved by a simple majority. Any changes proposed by the Council also require a simple majority of the Council.

The Leader is one of the 36 elected Councillors.

The Leader decides the Cabinet and the responsibilities of each Cabinet member.

The Leader has power to make decisions within the budget and policies set by the whole council. Decisions are taken by the Leader or he/she can choose to delegate decisions to a Cabinet or a committee of Cabinet or individual members of Cabinet.

Decisions to set the budget and the level of Council Tax, plus the major policies are made by the whole of the council.

Elected Mayor and Cabinet

The Elected Mayor is elected by Torbay voters.

The Elected Mayor holds office for four years and cannot be removed by the Council.

The Elected Mayor is chosen every four years by local voters in a formal election. This would be in addition to the local elections, which continues to take place.

The Elected Mayor presents a budget and major policies to the Council. They can be approved by a simple majority but any changes proposed by the Council must have the support of at least two thirds of the Councillors attending the meeting and voting.

The Mayor is in addition to the 36 elected Councillors.

The Mayor appoints and decides upon the size of the Cabinet - including at least two and up to nine of the 36 elected councillors, one of whom is appointed as Deputy Mayor. The Mayor decides the responsibilities of each Cabinet member.

The Mayor has power to make decisions within the budget and policies set by the whole council. Decisions are taken by the elected Mayor or he/she can choose to delegate decisions to a Cabinet or a committee of Cabinet or individual members of Cabinet.

Decisions to set the budget and the level of Council Tax, plus the major policies are made by the whole of the council.

The referendum was held on the same day as the election for the Police and Crime Commissioner in May 2016. By combining these two elections the cost to the Council was 50% less than if it was held as a standalone election. Based on previous elections, the cost when combined with another is approximately £80,000.  

Each different system has a different set of costs associated with it. We have broken down what the potential costs would be associated with each system below.

Directly elected Mayor and Cabinet system.

The election for a directly elected Mayor is held in addition to the local councillor elections, although the two elections are held at the same time. The approximate cost of a Mayoral election at a combined election is £80,000 and this is reduced further if more than two elections are held on the same day. In addition to the election costs, the law requires the us to produce a Mayoral Booklet which is posted to each voter on the Electoral Register. The cost of the mayoral booklet in the 2015 elections was £34,000 and each mayoral candidate was required to make a £1,000 contribution to appear in the booklet.

The elected Mayor is elected in addition to our 36 councillors. The Mayor is paid the same basic allowance as councillors (currently £8,167), plus a special responsibility allowance which is currently £54,446. Under the Mayoral system the Mayor is required to appoint a councillor as Deputy Mayor and the special responsibility allowance for this role is currently £20,227. Secretarial resources are also provided to the Mayor.

Leader and Cabinet system.

There are no additional election costs associated with the Leader and Cabinet system as the leader is elected by the Council from the 36 councillors.

The Leader would be paid a basic allowance as all the other councillors (currently £8,167), plus a special responsibility allowance for being the Leader. The allowances of Leaders of other authorities who we compare ourselves to, do range between £13,158 (South Hams District Council) and £31,102 (Plymouth City Council). If the Leader and Cabinet system is adopted the Council will determine the level of special responsibility allowance paid to the Leader taking account of any recommendations made by the Independent Remuneration Panel. Secretarial resources will also be available to the Leader.