Across England, local electoral turnout, apart from occasions when local and parliamentary elections coincide, has declined and fewer than four in ten of us will vote in this May's local elections.
But local councils matter – they control everything from A to Z (abandoned car removal to zoo licence approval), including your bin collections and your local park. They set your council tax rate and decide what it’s spent on – and how. So if you have a vote, use it.
Not sure what this council does? Check out the Key Facts section in this newsletter.
Within this borough, all councillor seats are up for election this May, as we operate an all out system every four years.
Ahead of the local elections, the Electoral Commission has launched the campaign, 'Got 5?', to encourage people to register to vote.
The campaign highlights that voters can quickly register in five minutes while using time that may otherwise be wasted, like waiting for the kettle to boil or for the spin cycle to finish. It encourages those who aren’t already registered to take these five minutes, go online and complete a form - emphasising its quick, simple and really important. For more details see www.gov.uk/registertovote