05 May May 2021 Elections
On Thursday 6 May, there will be different types of elections which take place across the UK. These include:
· The elections for the Mayor of London and the 25 Members of the London Assembly.
· Local council elections in England
· 5 Single Authority Mayors & 7 Combined Authority Mayors
· Police and Crime Commissioner elections
What does the Mayor of London do?
The Mayor’s job is to make London a better place for everyone who visits, lives or works in the city. This ranges from developing policies to setting budgets, from overseeing major programmes to championing London around the world. Responsibilities of the post include policing, transport, housing, fire and emergency planning, the environment, culture, economic development, regeneration, planning and development, and tackling health inequalities.
What does the London Assembly do?
The London Assembly acts as the eyes and ears of Londoners at City Hall. Members hold the Mayor to account by examining Mayoral strategies, decisions and actions to make sure they are in the public interest. They do this by publicly examining policies and programmes through committee meetings, plenary sessions, site visits and investigations
What is the difference between a Single Authority Mayor and a Combined Local Authority Mayor?
Whereas a directly elected mayor will just be responsible for a unitary authority such as Doncaster, in some areas, there is a combined authority, where a group of local councils work together on issues that affect the whole area, such as transport and housing. The powers of the metro mayor in each city are different because each city has a different agreement with the Government in Westminster. Some metro mayors like Greater Manchester also have more powers in areas like criminal justice and health and social care.
The following Single Authority Mayors are up for election:
· North Tyneside
The following Combined Local Authority Mayors are up for election:
· Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
· Greater Manchester
· Liverpool City Region
· Tees Valley
· West Midlands
· West of England
· West Yorkshire
What does a Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) do?
They are responsible for generally overseeing police forces. A Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) is an elected official in England responsible for generally overseeing both police forces and fire services. PCCs aim to cut crime and deliver an effective and efficient police service within their force area. To check whether these elections are applicable to you, please follow this link (https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter/which-elections-can-i-vote)
When you go to the polling station?
Before 6 May, you will be sent a poll card which includes details of where your polling station is. You do not need to take the card with you to vote, but it will help staff. You can only vote at the polling station listed on this card. You can also find out which polling station you can vote at using this online polling station finder (londonelects.org.uk) (https://wheredoivote.co.uk/)
On 6 May, your local polling station will be open between 7am and 10pm for you to cast your votes. When you arrive at the polling station you’ll be asked for your name and address. Staff will check you’re on the electoral register and then give you three ballot papers. They can help you understand how to fill them out too.
· For the local elections you mark the ballot paper by putting an ‘X’ next to the name of the person you would like to represent you. But you may have more than one Councillor representing your area and so you may be able to vote for more than one person.
· You will cast three votes in total, one for the Mayor of London and two for the London Assembly (Constituency London Assembly Member & London-wide Assembly Member)
· When you are voting for your Single Authority Mayor and Combined Authority Mayor. There are two columns. In Column 1 you put an ‘X’ next to the name of the person you want to be your first choice. You can choose just one candidate if you want. If you want to do this just put an ‘X’ in the first column next to the name of the person you want to vote for. If you want to give someone your second choice then you can put an ‘X’ next to the name of that candidate in the second column. When voting for Police and Crime Commissioner’s the same voting system applies.
When to expect the results for the 2021 elections?
A standard election would see votes counted overnight and declared throughout the following day, but some counts will not take place until Friday, or even Saturday, this year. This is due to additional safety measures to protect voters from COVID-19 are likely to slow the process down. It is up to returning officers in each voting area to determine the arrangements for counting votes and announcing results. So, whilst some local council elections will see results coming in early Friday Morning it is up to returning officers in each voting area to determine the arrangements for counting votes and announcing results. Hence, the full picture won’t be known until Saturday 8th May.
In London, the count will be spread over two days, in order to maximise social distancing at the count venues. Results for the 14 Constituency London Assembly Members will be announced on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 May; seven will be declared on Friday, and seven on Saturday. The results for the Mayor of London and London-wide Assembly Members will be declared on the evening of Saturday 8 May at the earliest.
Is anything different because of COVID-19?
Polling stations will be safe places to vote on 6 May. Do not vote in person if you feel unwell. Here’s what you can do to help keep yourself and others safe:
· wear a face covering unless you are exempt
· clean your hands – hand sanitiser will be available
· observe social distancing and one-way systems
· bring your own pen or pencil
The most important information about the Mayor of London and London Assembly elections has been translated into 20 different languages (https://www.londonelects.org.uk/im-voter/read-your-language)