Penarth Town Councillors who are elected in next year’s May 2017 elections could be expected to serve an unprecedented 6-year-long term of office.
Normally the period of office for Penarth Town Councillors is 4 years – and that’s the basis on which they were last elected in May 2012.
However wholesale changes in local councils being proposed by the Welsh Labour Government (which itself faces the voters in May this year  ) could mean that Penarth councillors who are elected in 2017 would be able to hang onto their seats for 6 years instead of 4 years. That means voters couldn’t get rid of any of them until 2023.
After the 2023 Penarth Town Council elections would – be held every 5 years rather than the normal 4-yearly electoral cycle which has been the practice up to now.
The traditional and long-established four-year term of office for Penarth Councillors would disappear for good under Labour’s legislative plans.
The new legislation set to bring about the change – and the merger of county authorities – is the draft Local Government (Wales) Bill.
This bill is currently out for consultation but that consultation period closes on Monday February 15th 2016 .
If it becomes law, the next Penarth Town Council elections – due in May 2017 – will be for a 6-year term .
The following election won’t be until 2023 . After 2023, Penarth Town Council elections would be for 5-year terms.
Ostensibly the Vale of Glamorgan Council elections would be held on the same dates as the Penarth Town elections – but, if Labour is re-elected in this year’s Welsh Assembly elections, the Vale of Glamorgan faces a forced merger with Cardiff which would come into force after April 1st 2020 .
All this would only happen if Labour manages to win a majority – or arrange a coalition – to keep it in power in the Welsh Assembly after the May 2016 elections. Plaid Cymru has already said it would enter a pact with Labour and would abstain in order to help get the Local Government Bill through. The Welsh Conservatives and the Lib Dems both oppose the Local Government Bill .