VE Day Bank Holiday change 'won't affect elections in South Tyneside'

Bank holiday changes to mark the end of the Second World War are not expected to affect next year’s round of local elections.

Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 12:41 pm
The Shields Gazette VE Day front page

The 2020 May Bank holiday is due to be moved from the expected day of Monday, May 4, to the following Friday, May 8, to celebrate 75 years since Victory in Europe (VE) Day.

Concerns had been raised that arrangements for elections scheduled for May 8, the day before the rearranged bank holiday, may need to be altered to account for overnight vote counting.

However, South Tyneside Council has confirmed it does not expect this to affect arrangements for polling day.

Polling booth

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The bank holiday change was announced on June 7 by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. A spokesman said: “We recognise there is an implication for the counting of votes in some of the local, Police and Crime Commissioner, combined authority and local mayor elections which will have taken place the day before 2020’s VE Day bank holiday.

“Decisions about arrangements for local counts are the responsibility of Returning Officers.”

The decision is only the second time the May Bank Holiday has been moved – the first was in 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of VE Day.

Commemorative events for the three-day weekend include a Nation’s Toast in which pubs will encourage patrons to toast veterans.

VE Day was first celebrated on May 8, 1945, when Allied Forces formally accepted Germany’s surrender.