By Joe Vickers
Local Elections are taking place around the UK today, with more than 8000 seats in councils nationwide will be up for grabs.
This is the first set of local elections within Cheshire West & Chester since 2019, with all 70 seats across 45 different council wards being contested.
This includes three seats available in Chester City & the Garden Quarter.
Residents who are registered to vote will be able to vote at St. Thomas’ Parish Hall, Parkgate Road, Chester, CH1 4AG from 7 o’clock in the morning of 4 May until 10pm in the evening.
Alternatively, voters can cast a postal vote instead, or nominate an eligible proxy to vote on their behalf.
To become eligible to vote in Chester City & the Garden Quarter, you must be 18 or above, live within the area, be a UK citizen, and have no legal exclusion from voting.
Voters are reminded to bring a form of legal photo ID, such as a passport or driver’s license.
In the Chester City & the Garden Quarter are able to vote for three of eleven candidates.
The eligible candidates are as follows: Paul Chamberlain (Labour), Martyn Delaney (Independent Candidate), Max Gerrard (Conservative & Unionist), Katrina Kerr (Labour), Timothy Longman (Liberal Democrat), Matthew Joel Morgan (Conservative & Unionist), Przemyslaw Rusak (Liberal Democrat), Kerry Taylor-Brown (Green), Alexander Tolani (Liberal Democrat), Kate Vaughan (Conservative & Unionist), and Ben Walker (Labour).
Labour have held control over Chester since 2015, and have clearly expressed their mission statement for Chester on their website: “Our mission is to make Chester the most liveable city in the UK. We will work together with businesses, charities, community groups and other public organisations, to deliver the One City Plan and make Chester’s economy stronger, greener, and fairer. We’ll celebrate our culture, take pride in our heritage, and support the health and well-being of people of all ages in our city.”
Paul Chamberlain, one of three Labour candidates and local for Chester City narrowed down his intentions to more specific areas of Chester, stating: “I want to work hard for communities in Boughton, Newtown, Abbots Park, Garden Quarter, and the city centre.
“I will build links between the council’s decisions and our residents, so you can feel more involved in issues that impact you. As a former editor of the Chester Chronicle, I’ve watched Chester change over the years, but like other residents I feel communication could be improved.”
The Conservative Party, who lost control of Chester to Labour in 2015, also provide a mission statement, stating: “We believe Chester is a fantastic place to live, work and raise a family. But right now, we are being let down by a Labour Council that is failing on local services and a Labour MP who just doesn’t listen. Chester Conservatives are campaigning for a better future for our city.”
The election also features candidates representing the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party, and an independent contestant.
For more information surrounding the May 2023 local elections, please visit https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter/local-elections-england-may-2023
Photo: St Thomas’ Church, by Joe Vickers