May 6 elections: A quick guide

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Next week 143 local councils across England, including Manchester districts, will be holding elections for local councillors. Voters in Greater Manchester will also be voting to elect the Mayor of Greater Manchester.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority Mayoral Elections

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) is made up of ten councils in Greater Manchester: Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan, and the Mayor, who work with other local services, businesses, and communities to improve the city region.

They Mayor of Greater Manchester works with the leaders of the ten councils on indues that affect the whole of the region, such as transport, planning and housing, and policing.

There are 9 candidates standing for election for the Mayor of Greater Manchester, and you can find out more about the candidates on the GM Elects website.

Additionally, our Students’ Union are teaming up with Manchester Metropolitan University SU, University of Bolton SU and University of Salford SU to hold a live hustings with this year’s candidates for Mayor. They’re going to be asking the candidates all about their plans for students to help you decide who you want to run your city.

Tune into the livestream on the SU Facebook page at 6pm, this Thursday, 29 April

Local Elections

On May 6 you’ll also be able to vote in local elections.

Who can vote in the upcoming elections?

If you are over 18, a British Citizen, EU citizen or qualifying Commonwealth citizen and have registered to vote, you can vote in the upcoming elections.

In local elections, students are able to vote in two different elections. If your University term time address and home address are in different council areas and you are registered to vote in each, you can vote in both places (unlike in a General Election). This is because they are counted as separate elections.

What does a local council do?

There are several different types of councils in England. County and district councils, parish and community councils (you have no authority here Jackie Weaver) and metropolitan district councils – which Manchester Council is classed as. Local councils are responsible for facilities and services in your areas, such as transport, waste management, local health and social care, public safety, libraries and much more.

You can see the areas Manchester City Council covers on their website.

In local elections you vote for local councillors who will represent the individuals within the ward/area they cover, and they decide how the council should carry out various activities. Local elections are held every four years.

Who is standing for election?

You can find out who is standing for the local elections in which areas you can search on the Manchester City Council website.

Voting and coronavirus

You will be able to vote in person at a polling station in the elections. As with many other things this year, measures will be in place to help you stay safe. You must maintain social distancing, and there will be a limit on how many people can be in the polling station at once. When you go inside you’ll also be asked to wear a face covering.

To find out more about safety measures in place at polling stations visit The Electoral Commission website.