Do I have to vote in local elections in 2021?

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Local elections in the UK will be held on May 6, 2021. Voters will choose for their representatives in 145 English local council, 3 mayors, 39 Police and Crime Commissioners, along with ballots being held for the Scottish and Welsh Parliament and London Assembly. now, that’s a lot of elections to try and get your head around, so here’s a simple guide on what you’re voting for, when and how to vote – and if you even have to at all.

Why do we vote on May 6?

Depending on where you live, there will be a number of ballots to be cast on election day this year.

The vote was due to be held in May 2020, but was delayed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

There are dozens of elections taking place this year, from local councils to mayors and PCCs.

In England, some 28 million people will vote for about 4,650 different roles.

READ MORE: London mayor: Who could beat Sadiq Khan? ‘Flurry of bets’ for outsider

Find out who you’re eligible to vote for using our InYourArea widget above.

Or click here to read more about your local candidates.

Of the 143 local councils up for election in England this May, 47 are currently held by the Conservatives and 54 are held by Labour.

A further six are held by the Liberal democrats with 33 under “no overall control”, which means no party holds a majority.

Who can vote in the local elections?

To vote you must be over 18 and meet all the following criteria:

  • be registered at an address in the area where they want to vote
  • are a British citizen, an Irish or EU citizen or an eligible Commonwealth citizen
  • are not legally excluded from voting

You can vote in person at a polling station on May 6, or apply for a proxy vote, which means you nominate someone to vote for you if you’re unable to get to the polling station.

There are also postal votes, however the deadline for to apply for one passed on April 20.

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Do I have to vote in local elections?

You do not have to vote in the local elections if you don’t want to.

Voting is not mandatory and you will not be fined if you chose not to go to the polling stations on election day.

However, these elections give you the chance to have a say over how your local area is run.

Your local council decides how your public services are run.

So if you’re pleased with their progress or think they need a push into action, you can use your vote at the ballot box to indicate this.

Local councils are responsible for services such as:

  • Providing care for the elderly and disabled
  • Fixing potholes on some roads
  • Collecting rubbish
  • Providing libraries
  • Planning applications

Do you plan to have your say on May 6? Let us know in the poll above and have your say in the comments.

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