May 6 explained: Nottinghamshire goes to the polls for unpredictable local election

Polling stations across Notts are open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday.

Nottinghamshire is going to the polls in the first large-scale ballot since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic to elect a County Council and decide who should oversee policing in the city and county.

On May 6 polling stations are open across Nottingham city and the county from 7am to 10pm.

Voters who live in the county are being asked to elect someone to represent them on Nottinghamshire County Council. They are also being asked to choose from three candidates in a Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner election.

There is no Nottingham City Council election because but one is not now due until 2023, but city residents are able to vote in the Police and Crime Commissioner election on Thursday.

People must be registered to vote in order to take part – the deadline to register has now passed.

Although polling stations are open as normal on Thursday, extra measures will be in place including hand sanitsier, social distancing and a requirement for voters to wear face masks unless they are exempt. Some voters will also have taken up the option to vote by post or by proxy prior to May 6.

Nottinghamshire County Council is a seen as an authority with a complex and unpredictable voting landscape – and as a county-wide authority it controls schools, social services, public transport, highways, waste disposal and trading standards.

The last County Council election was held on May 4 2017, and saw no party win enough seats to claim an overall majority. The Conservatives were closest to the key total of 34 with 31, Labour won 23 and the Ashfield Independents won five seats.

That election was seen as a significant success for the Ashfield Independents, who won their seats from more established parties, But the Conservatives also increased their overall share of the vote.

While Nottingham City Council is currently seen as a Labour stronghold, County Council elections are usually much more difficult to call.

Labour were the party in control from 1981 until 2009, when the Conservatives won and held the authority for four years.

They could not extend their control, however, as Labour regained hold in 2013.

But that was also a single term in power as the authority changed again in a close 2017 poll, although the Conservatives only won enough seats to lead the council – 31 -rather than be able to claim overall control.

Current Conservative Leader Kay Cutts is not standing in the election having previously said she would retire after 31 years as a County Councillor.

A full list of candidates for the election is available on the County Council website.

Video: Nottinghamshire’s PCC election candidates meet in a live TV debate on Notts TV

The Police and Crime Commissioner Election is being held on the same day but is a separate poll for both county and city residents.

Police and Crime Commissioners are being elected in 41 police areas across England, including Notts.

Commissioners, or PCCs, are voted in to provide scrutiny of local policing including holding forces to account on crime targets, priorities, spending, officer numbers and approach to policing at a local level.

In Nottinghamshire four candidates are standing. They are Caroline Henry for the Conservative Party, Paddy Tipping for Labour and David Watts for the Liberal Democrats.

All three took part in a live debate ahead of the election on Notts TV as part of an Ey Up Notts special.

Mr Tipping has held the post since it was created in 2012.

More information about all the PCC candidates for Nottinghamshire is available on the Choose My PCC website.

Votes for both elections will be counted on Friday, May 7, with results expected to be announced in the afternoon.

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