Your vote is vital – whoever you cast it for
On Thursday May 2, just a month from now, residents across Yate, Chipping Sodbury and the surrounding towns and villages will have their opportunity to elect their representatives on South Gloucestershire Council.
Your votes, and who you elect will determine who runs the council – as whichever party has the most councillors, forms the next council administration.
In the UK we often take for granted this opportunity to elect our most local representatives, those with the power to effect, campaign and implement ultra-local changes. Voting in these elections is so important because sometimes it’s the local issues that can often frustrate us all most, but as busy people, we often find that the amount of people who vote is around half that of that of a general election.
Local elections are particularly important as your local councillors have a crucial and direct say over issues that directly affect our daily lives such as schools, libraries, getting pot holes filled, leisure centres, transport, parks, healthcare and recycling.
All of these services impact our immediate environment and it is your local councillor that helps determine how funding for these resources are allocated. Your local councillor has the capacity to significantly improve the area that you live in, therefore it is vital that you turn out to cast your vote.
South Gloucestershire has recently undergone boundary changes, meaning that the upcoming elections are imperative in defining our sense of community, and a notable opportunity to elect new names and fresh faces at a district level.
South Gloucestershire is divided into community groupings known as wards and each ward is represented by one, two or three councillors. Yate has had a re-jig, but the new Chipping Sodbury and Cotswold Edge ward is now a two-councillor ward, which covers Chipping Sodbury, Wickwar, Hawkesbury Upton, Old Sodbury, Acton Turville and the surrounding villages.
The boundary changes also mean that South Gloucestershire Council’s total number of elected representatives have been reduced from 70 to 61. Such changes have been orchestrated to ensure that each councillor represents the same number of residents and each ward successfully represents the identities and interests of local communities.
It is crucial for every resident’s voice to be heard. Your neighbours may be relying upon you to vote, so it’s important to make sure yours counts whoever it may be for.
If you have any further concerns or questions regarding the upcoming elections, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.