A change to the way councillors are elected in Ceredigion by adopting the Single Transferable Vote system is to go to a public consultation.

All councillors in Wales are currently elected using a simple majority system, commonly known as first past the post (FPTP), as used in general elections.

Each council will continue to use this method unless it decides to change to a system known as the Single Transferable Vote (STV) under 2021 legislation.

At the December meeting of full council, members were being asked to consider the adoption of the alternative system, with a recommendation Ceredigion retains the existing system, but was withdrawn from that agenda.

Workshops were held after that meeting, with the issue returning to the 21 March meeting of full council.

Speaking at the March meeting, Aberaeron county councillor Elizabeth Evans was one of many supporting a public consultation.

“38 councillors cannot decide on the wholesale change of how we are elected without going out to the whole of Ceredigion,” Cllr Evans said.

“We do need to consult with the people of Ceredigion, and we would be criticised wholly if we didn’t.”

Cllr Catrin M S Davies said: “I think we have to be ready for the public to express their decision here, that is what democracy is.

“If we don’t open the consultation to the public – it doesn’t matter what our opinions are on STV – we are voting to decide whether we allow the public to express their opinion.”

“It will be complicated, but for the voting side it’s not complicated; the people of Ceredigion are clearly able to deal with the system.”

Cllr Gareth Lloyd felt the proposal should be “put on the backburner” for now, adding: “I would certainly vote to remain as we are and look at it in a few years; now is not the time to use the scarce resources we have.”

The more complex STV system differs in a number of ways, including that every single county council ward would need to be larger and multi-member, with voters ranking the candidates according to their order of preference.

The implementation of new voting arrangements would require additional financial resources.

The public consultation will be launched at a later date; to change to STV for the next set of local government elections in 2027, a resolution to this effect must be made before 15 November.