Saturday, 16 May 2009
No General Election is required by law until June 2010, but of course the Prime Minister may ask the Queen for a dissolution of Parliament - thus causing an Election - at any time. But on 4th June there are two sets of elections which will be watched closely.
County Councils have elections for all their members once every four years. At the last major reorganisation of English local government on 1st April 1974 most of the country had a two tier structure - with County Councils responsible for strategic planning and services (for example, Education; Social Services; Waste Disposal) with district councils (sometimes the particular district council, for histroical reasons was entitled to be called a Borough or City) responsible for more local services (Housing; Waste Collection). In the Metropolitan areas the County Councils were abolished in 1986, and subsequently some districts have been given "unitary status" - for example Leicester City, Nottingham City, Milton Keynes.
The other election on June 4th will be the European Parliament elections. In the UK MEPs are chosen on a regional basis - with party lists in each of the English regions - and Wales; Scotland and Northern Ireland. Seats will be allocated to the parties on a proportional basis in each region.
I am a candidate on the Labour Party list in the East Midlands. Over the next few days, I hope to share with you some of the background - and some of my experience - of this election.