THE latest local elections are set to take place on May 6, 2021.
England’s local councils are up for election and it’s time for the voters to have their say.
How often are local elections held in the UK?
Local councillors are elected for 4-year terms by the local community.
Council elections are usually held on the first Thursday in May.
Some councils elect all of their councillors at the same time.
Other councils elect half or a third of their councillors at each election.
Many parts of England have two tiers of local government: County councils and district, borough or city councils.
County councils are responsible for services, such as education, social care and waste management, across the entire county.
District, borough or city councils are responsible for a smaller area and usually responsible for things like rubbish collections, housing and council tax collections.
How do local elections work?
In local government elections voters get to choose between one and three councillors to represent their ward – their local area – on the council.
There are 388 local councils in England and about 20,000 councillors.
Local elections allow the people in the area to have a say on the services provided and how they are run, covering aspects such as education and parks to transport and council homes.
How many candidates can run in local elections?
According to The Electoral Commission, your local elections office will publish a list of all the candidates standing for election in your area.
Voters will be able to find a link to information about the election from your local council’s website.
However there is no official source of information on candidates as local councils and the Electoral Commission are usually not allowed to provide information on the people who are standing and their policies other than their name, address and party (if they have one).
In some elections, such as mayoral elections or referendums, you may be sent an information booklet.
Who can vote in local elections?
You have to be aged 18 or over to vote in any election in England and Northern Ireland.
In both Scotland and Wales people aged 16 and over can vote in the local elections as well as elections to their devolved parliaments – Holyrood and the Senedd, respectively.
However, for all other elections in Scotland and Wales, voters must be at least 18 years old.
Anyone eligible to vote though has to be registered beforehand.
People can vote in person at their local polling station or if they prefer, or cannot get to a polling station, they can apply for a postal or proxy vote but this must be arranged before voting takes place.
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