Stand up and be counted

It is something we don’t – and shouldn’t – take for granted.

“It is time to highlight all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes at this time of year to make it possible for us to stand as councillors

In the run-up to the local elections, many of you will be out canvassing, delivering leaflets and talking to local people about the tough choices we all face amid rising demand for essential local services and continuing austerity in the public sector.

The LGA will continue to be the national voice of local government, championing its work and calling for more resources, particularly to address the significant funding gaps facing adult and children’s services, and the rising demand for homelessness services.

It is also time to highlight all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes at this time of year to make it possible for us to stand as councillors and to vote in local elections alongside our fellow citizens. Across the country, hundreds of council returning officers and electoral services staff will be busy making sure everything is in place for a smooth poll on 2 May – from signs to your local polling stations to ensuring the security of election counts. I’m sure the public will again highlight democracy in action through a variety of social media posts.

Meanwhile, to those of you who are stepping down on polling day, or don’t get the result you are hoping for, thank you for all your hard work on behalf of the local residents you represent. Many of you will realise that being a councillor is a tough job, which often comes with little appreciation. I look forward to seeing many of you after the elections. Irrespective of different coloured rosettes, we must remember that being part of local government allows us to improve the lives of people in our wide-ranging communities at a level to which they can relate.

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The local election campaign is well under way – a busy time for us all!