THE 2014 LOCAL elections are looming - and it’s your chance to tell the city’s decision-makers what you think.
Leeds will go to the polls on May 22.
Of 99 Leeds City Council seats, 33 will be battled out this year by a total of 177 candidates representing 10 political parties. As well as Labour, Conservative, Lib Dem, Green and Morley Borough Independents - all of whom currently have a presence in Leeds City’s Council’s chamber - candidates will be fielded by UKIP, the Alliance for Green Socialism/Save NHS, Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts, Brit Dems (Stop Immigration Leave EU) and two Independents.
The city holds local elections three years in every four. A third of the 99 councillor positions - spread across 33 wards - are contested every year. Councillors serve for four years, and there is a ‘fallow year’ every fourth year. The last of these was 2013.
At the last Leeds local elections in 2012, the turnout was 31.35 per cent. Of 559,868 people registered, 175,503 went to the ballot box.
For those who are eligible to vote, but haven’t yet received their polling card, there is still time to register. The deadline is Tuesday, May 6.
Tom Riordan, returning officer for the Leeds City Council elections, said: “If your name isn’t on our electoral register, you won’t be able to have your say about issues that could directly affect you. We want to make sure that everyone eligible to vote in Leeds is able to do so.”
Call the special helpline 0113 222 4411 to register, email firstname.lastname@example.org or download a form from www.leeds.gov.uk.
Of the seats up for re-election, 20 are currently held by Labour, six by the Conservatives, five by the Lib Dems and two by Morley Borough Independents.
Currently serving Leeds councillors not standing for re-election are Bernard Atha (Lab, Kirkstall); Tom Murray (Lab, Garforth and Swillington); Janet Harper (Lab, Armley); Neil Taggart (Lab, Bramley and Stanningley) and Martin Hamilton (Lib Dem, Headingley). Clive Fox (Con, Adel and Wharfedale) was due for re-election but passed away recently.
IT’S EU’R CHOICE: 10 PARTIES, 57 CANDIDATES FOR EURO PARLIAMENT POLL
The European Parliamentary Elections will be held across Europe from May 22 to 25. In the UK, polling day will be on May 22, to co-incide with the local elections.
There are 21 local authorities within the Yorkshire and Humber region. Leeds City Council will be the region’s lead authority for the Euro election.
The Yorkshire region will select six MEPs, on the basis of proportional representation.
There are 10 different parties putting forward a total of 57 candidates. An Independence from Europe, the BNP, the Conservatives, the English Democrats, the Green Party, Labour, the Lib Dems, NO2EU and UKIP are all putting forward six candidates. Yorkshire First is putting up three candidates.