VE Day Bank Holiday change won't affect elections in Sunderland, say council chiefs

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

By The Newsroom
Monday, 17 June, 2019, 22:09
A VE Day scene in Sunderland in 1945

The 2020 May Bank holiday is due to be moved from the expected day 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, Sunderland City Council has confirmed it does not expect this to affect arrangements for polling day.

The bank holiday change was announced earlier on June 7 by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

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A spokesman for the government department 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 are planned for the three-day weekend, including a ‘Nation’s Toast’ in which more than 20,000 pubs will encourage patrons toast Second World War veterans.

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

James Harrison