Local views on local elections

In just a few days, everyone in England and Wales will be able to vote in an unprecedented round of local and national elections. 

In Wales, councils will be running elections for the Senedd and for police and crime commissioners (PCCs), with 16-year-olds able to vote for the first time.

In England, these will be the most complex set of elections councils have ever run – covering local elections that were deferred from 2020 as well as those scheduled for 2021, plus contests for PCCs and combined authority mayors.

Additionally, they are taking place in the uniquely challenging context of a pandemic. 

Too often the debate around local polls frustratingly focuses on what they might mean nationally for political parties. 

I was delighted, therefore, to give an interview to the BBC on why these local elections matter for our communities. 

It was an important opportunity to reinforce the point that local government is part of the fabric of our country delivering vital services every day.

The things people see daily tend to be the services councils provide – emptying the bins, fixing the roads, planning where new homes are built.

We also take responsibility for some of the most vulnerable in our society, providing care for older people and disabled adults, and acting as corporate parents to some 80,000 looked-after children.

Councillors elected by residents on 6 May will make hugely important decisions about how to provide these vital local public services, which can sometimes be taken for granted by local communities. 

People rely on and trust their local leaders. The LGA’s most recent polling shows that 73 per cent of residents trust their local council to make decisions about how services are provided in their local area.

As we look to recover from the devastating social and economic impact of the pandemic, we will continue to highlight that our communities need councils and the local services they provide more than ever before.

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