CARMARTHENSHIRE residents will go to the polls on Thursday May 5 to vote for the people they wish to represent them on the county council and their local town and community councils.
Local elections are held every five years and provide people with an opportunity to influence who controls the council and the direction of council policies and spending.
Anyone aged 16 and over can vote in these elections, provided they are eligible and have registered to vote by April 14.
People are being encouraged to check if they are registered to vote, particularly if they’re voting for the first time, have recently moved house, or their personal circumstances have changed.
Every household in Carmarthenshire has been sent a letter with details about who is registered to vote at that address, but checking, and registering to vote is easy and takes just five minutes at gov.uk/registertovote
Candidates stand for election in a ‘ward’ which can cover one or more local communities in the county.
Following a review by the Local Government Boundary Commission for Wales there are now 54 electoral wards in Carmarthenshire.
People are being encouraged to check whether they live in an area where the ward boundary has changed, as it may be different to the ward they have previously voted for – a postcode checker has been published on the county council’s website, and updated information will also appear on polling cards.
The number of councillors that will be elected to Carmarthenshire County Council will also increase, from 74 to 75 to reflect the boundary changes.
Local Returning Officer Wendy Walters said: “The Local Elections on May 5 are very important as they will determine our local area representatives for the next five years.
“We want to ensure that everyone is able to exercise their democratic right to vote. These will be the first local elections in Welsh history where 16 and 17-year-olds are also eligible to vote, and we hope to see many young people in our polling stations on May 5.
“In advance of the elections, we are reaching out to young people to let them know about their right to vote, how voting works, and why it is important, but we also encourage families to have conversations at home to help young people who may be registering to vote for the first time.”
The May 5 Local Elections also give an opportunity to local people who wish to represent their communities as a councillor.
Councillors represent everyone who lives in the area they are elected to and give a voice to each individual resident, dealing with a range of community issues, influencing what the council does, and making decisions about council services.
Information about the Local Elections, voting and standing as a candidate, can be found at www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/elections