What should you be looking for when you go to the polls on May 2 to vote in the local elections?
This is a question many of us will ask ourselves over the coming days. Polling cards are already being issued and the candidates are out looking for your support.
For us, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, there are a number of key issues that as residents we all share. There are of course other issues which we can tackle in local elections, like using our vote to make a protest vote.
Firstly and the most important thing is that you should vote. If you are not registered there is still time register. You have until this Friday, 12 April. While those wanting to vote via the post have until Monday 15 April.
So assuming you are registered the next step is deciding who you want to back. There are plenty of things to look for but for many, this is a very individual choice.
What Should You Be Looking For When You Go To The Polls
With that in mind here are some of the topics that may help you decide which is the best candidate or best party for you. Remember, we are all different, we all have different needs so while there is no perfect solution for everyone, there are some issues we all share.
What Should You Be Looking For When You Go To The Polls – Education
For example, if you have a young family, you may have a keen interest in education. You should ask yourself which party is going to do the most to ensure education is properly funded.
According to figures released by the National Education Union, The Conservative Government are not too supportive of schools. They say that 17,942 have seen their budgets cut with schools being £2bn worse off then they were two years ago.
If you value your child’s future then this really should be a key consideration.
What Should You Be Looking For When You Got To The Polls – Health
Health care is another hot topic. Right now you may be wanting to access the NHS. Be it a doctor’s appointment or for treatment for more serious conditions.
While we all take health care for granted, this is another sector that is feeling the brunt of cuts. The Health Foundation said in a recent study that an additional £3.2bn a year was needed to reverse the impact of cuts made by the Conservative Party’s austerity policy.
They also add these shortfalls in the budget are made worse by local authorities seeing a 32.6pc cut in their budgets. As a result, this is putting increasing pressure on local councils to support people’s overall health and wellbeing.
What Should You Be Looking For When You Got To The Polls – Public Sector Workers
Those who work within the public sector really do have a lot to consider when it comes to choosing who to vote for. Your income, pension and job security could otherwise be put at risk.
Police officers are among those who are being left to carry the can when it comes to this. As public services are stripped back, they are left to pick up the pieces and clean up the mess created.
The Police Federation says that due to budget cuts by the Conservatives 79pc of their officers are feeling stressed and anxious while at work. This is of course not unique to the police. The same can be said for our teachers and nurses who provide an invaluable service to the community.
What Should You Be Looking For When You Got To The Polls – Council Tax Hikes
This is something that is impacting every household. Council Tax increases according to the Labour Party have been increased by 20pc. Local Authorities are being forced to hike the level of tax collected from residents to bridge the gap created by cuts to their budgets.
Not only are residents being hit with an increase in their council tax, according to The Local Government Association services will be cut too. They say that authorities are looking to reduce spending on adult social care. They also add children’s care could also be hit too.
The LGA said that their members have no choice but to do this. They say reductions in their budgets from central government mean they have to raise money somehow. They also add council funding is broken.
These are just some of the key things we would suggest you should be looking for what you go to the polls. Some of these points, maybe more than one of them will have an impact on your life.
Another thing which you should also consider is Brexit. While this process is still ongoing, the outcome of it will certainly have an impact.
In the East Riding of Yorkshire, we will be voting to elect officials into 67 seats. In Beverley, there are nine seats up for grabs. While there will also be elections for Beverley Town Council and Woodmansey Parish Council.
What happens on the 2 May will not be decided by politicians. It will be up to us as residents to make an informed choice and put people in office.
Hopefully, this guide will help you to decide what you should be looking for when you go to the polls.