Local And European Elections On 22 May: Find Out More


As chances are you’ll know, there are native and European elections on Thursday 22 May. Polls are open from 7am till 10pm — however what are you voting for?


Local elections are the place you get to decide on who represents your neighbourhood in your borough council. In London, all council seats throughout every borough are up for election — that’s M,850 councillors ready to be elected or re-elected.

But what does your councillor truly do? Councils present providers like bin collections, social look after weak individuals, council housing, faculties, parks and libraries, however how these providers are offered, and the place, comes right down to the councillors. “Everything in your native space is formed by the council and your native councillors,” explains London Assembly Member Val Shawcross, who served on Croydon council between 1994-2000. “Areas represented by a very good native councillor can profit from artistic tasks, like bidding for heritage schemes, upgrading an area playground or making a wildlife park.”

Basically, on the subject of selecting your native councillor, you need to decide somebody who will struggle your nook and ensure your neighbourhood points don’t get misplaced. Your MP might have the ear of Westminster, however she or he covers a a lot wider space and we’ll guess you a pint that no matter’s bugging you about your native space — is the pavement crooked? Do you need extra bike racks? CCTV? — it’s your council that’s accountable. “People don’t realise how elementary the council is to their high quality of life,” says Val. “An engaged native councillor supplies rather more than the fundamentals. They can have a huge effect on security, for instance, working with police. Councillors are undervalued and — usually — will fall over backwards to assist the area people.”

You’re voting for 3 councillors to symbolize the ward that you simply reside in. There will in all probability be three candidates from every political social gathering in addition to some independents, however you don’t should vote for only one get together. Mix and match, in the event you like. It’s a first past the post system: the candidates with probably the most votes in every ward develop into your native councillors. It could be onerous to seek out out details about every particular person candidate, however for those who Google the identify of your borough and every get together, you must flip up the native web site.


If you reside in Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hackney or Lewisham, you then additionally get to decide on a Mayor. Unlike different councils, that are headed by the chief of the social gathering with probably the most councillors, Mayors are elected individually. In concept it may end up in a really comparable state of affairs to the Mayor of London, the place Conservative Boris Johnson heads up City Hall however Labour is the most important political celebration on the Assembly. Also just like voting for Mayor of London, it’s a supplementary vote system. If you don’t understand how that works, we wrote a guide to voting over the past London election. We’ll have extra info on the Mayoral races later within the week.


As if all this wasn’t sufficient, there are additionally elections to pick who represents London on the European Parliament and it makes use of yet one more voting system: proportional representation. We vote as a metropolis moderately than for our personal boroughs and each vote counts. Seats are allotted, because the identify suggests, proportionally in response to what number of votes are forged for every celebration or unbiased candidate. London will get eight Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). Currently we have now three Conservatives, two Labour, one Green, one Liberal Democrat and one UKIP MEPs representing our pursuits.

MEPs are the one immediately elected members of the EU. MEPs don’t make legal guidelines, however they ‘hold in examine’ the European Commission and nations that make up the EU and ‘co-determine’ (amend) laws with the Commission. Europe doesn’t have an effect on nationwide considerations like revenue tax, housing or our well being service, however does legislate on areas like shopper safety, environmental requirements, staff’ rights and immigration. The BBC has produced a superb guide to the European Parliament.


If you’re not registered to vote it’s now too late (although we did warn you in advance). You ought to have your polling card however you don’t want it to vote. Just be sure to know which polling station you’re registered at as a result of you possibly can solely vote there (as we discovered to our irritation a number of years in the past). Hammersmith and Fulham has a useful information to what happens when you’re on the polling station.


Here’s an inventory of all candidates standing to be elected to the European Parliament for London (PDF).

Follow the hyperlinks for extra details about voting and the candidates standing in your borough:

Photo by Simon Kimber from the Londoners 10:00 am – Source: londonist.com

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