This year, Tamworth Borough Council elections take place in just one weeks time, on Thursday 2 May. You will have from 0700 BST to 2200 BST (thats 7am-10pm) to cast your vote.
Why should you vote? What are you voting for? Read on…
One of the important things to remember is that these are local elections – this is nothing to do with the dreaded Brexit issus, or any other National problems.
This year, ten out of a total of thirty ‘seats’ on the Borough Council are up for the taking, one in each of the ten councils ‘wards’.
The way this works is that Tamworth is divided into 10 wards, which are represented by a total of 30 councillors. The wards are: Amington, Belgrave, Bolehall, Castle, Glascote, Mercian, Spital, Stonydelph, Trinity and Wilnecote
Each ward area has three Councillors who are voted in by you, the electorate.
The political party with the majority number of ‘seats’ on the council then form the ‘controlling group’ with the rest then forming the ‘opposition’. If no party (or independent) have a majority number of ‘seats’ then they can join together to form a controlling group or ‘coalition’.
Tamworth Borough Council is currently made up of 20 Conservative councillors, 6 Labour councillors, 2 Independent councillors and 1 UK Independence Party (UKIP) councillor, this means that the Conservative form the controlling group.
One post, which was previously a conservative seat is currently vacant due to the sad death of Cllr Steve Claymore.
If you have a postal vote but don’t post it in time – remember, you can take your postal vote to any polling station in the area for your vote to be included.
What are we voting for?
There are a few different types of an election you are asked to vote in, these are explained below:
- General election – in a general election you are voting for the MP for the area to represent you in parliament – the party the majority of MP’s across the county are then generally asked to form a government by the queen. In times where there is no party with an overall majority, this may be different. The government controls things like spending on the Police, NHS and Military.
- County Council election – in a county council election, you are voting for someone to represent you at the County Council. County Council control things like highways (think potholes!), social care and libraries.
- Police and Crime Commissioner election – in the PCC election you are voting for an individual to take the post of the Police and Crime Commissioner. In Staffordshire, the PCC has also recently taken over the governance of the Fire and Rescue Service.
- Borough Council election – in the Borough Council election, you are voting for one of the three councillors that represent you in the ward you live. Borough Councils control things like refuse collection, public open spaces, planning and environmental health. They have nothing to do with Brexit.
As this election is for the Borough Council, you are not voting for people who have direct control over the state of the roads, the number of police on the streets or how much is spent on the NHS. You will get to have your say for this in the coming years.
Where do I vote?
You can either vote in person at the Polling Station. If you prefer, you can apply to vote by post. In certain circumstances, you can arrange for someone to vote on your behalf.
To find out where your local polling station is, click here.
They’re all the same – aren’t they?
It is important to use your vote to retain your democratic right, across the world, people have died to have a right to vote. if you usually go by the mantra that they are ‘all the same’, look into them, they are really not.
You also have the option, of course, to ‘spoil’ your ballot paper, the best way to do this is just to not mark your ballot paper IN ANY WAY.
Your vote will then be counted and show two things, that you care enough about local issues to attend the polling station but that you feel that none of the options available represents your views. This will send a message to the candidates that they need to do more to capture your vote.
If you don’t vote then you give the candidates no reason to change, you are not going to vote anyway so why should they try to encourage you to vote for them? Think about it, your vote is POWER!