William Eichler 27 April 2017

Don't forget local polls in ‘fog’ of general election, campaigners say

Council representatives and campaigners are urging political parties to use the next week to raise awareness of local issues ahead of the upcoming local elections.

On May 4th, 35 councils in England, 32 in Scotland and 22 in Wales are up for election along with 8 mayoralties in six combined authority regions for the first time since devolution deals were initially announced in 2015.

The Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) and the County Council Network (CCN) have teamed up on the Out for the Count campaign to promote the importance of county elections and the local services provided by these authorities.

Out for the Count will provide live local election results coverage and analysis with insights into what’s happening on the ground – drawn from crowdsourcing data provided by volunteers -- and what it means for the country as a whole.

‘Political parties form a large majority of council groups across the country. As such many will be in full battle mode for the General Election in June,’ said Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive, LGiU.

‘However, they also need to remember that local electorates in our county areas and in the combined authorities are voting on local issues and local records.

‘These records should not be forgotten in the fog of a General Election campaign which is about placing bums on green benches in the House of Commons.

‘This is about real, community democracy in which local political parties produce clear and innovative solutions for their communities.’

Simon Edwards, director, CCN said: ‘County authorities are responsible for £30bn a year spent on essential public services – from social care and children’s services to roads, schools and investment in vital local infrastructure.

‘Our historic counties are not only important but part of our national identity: that’s why it is essential that the 25 million people who live in counties go out and cast their vote in May.’

For more on the local elections read our interview with the LGiU's Jonathan Carr-West, 'Too many elections? What the General Election means for local polls.'

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