The Welsh Government has announced that all councils elected in next year’s (2017) local government elections in Wales will serve 5-year terms of office rather than the 4-year terms laid down under the current legislation .
Local council elections are supposed to take place every 4 years under the Local Government Act of 1972 – but in 2014 the Welsh Government used powers it has [in the Local Government Act 2000] to arbitrarily lengthen the terms of office of elected councils by an extra year without any public consultation.
That meant that instead of facing the electorate in May 2016 councils (including the Vale of Glamorgan and Penarth Town Council) were authorised to remain in office until May 2017 – even though voters had not mandated them to stay in office for the extra year.
After the local government elections are held in May 2017 the elected councillors in the Vale and Penarth Town Council will now remain in office until May 2022 – and elections afterwards will also be held on a 5-year cycle, rather than the previous 4 years.
The Welsh Government is also extending the period for the consideration of local government boundary changes – such as the proposed merger of the Vale of Glamorgan with Cardiff .