On May 5, council elections are being held in Wales. It means positions are up for grabs in 22 councils with more than 1,200 county councillors, and more community councillors being elected.
Elections are taking place all across Wales, from Ynys Mon and Conwy in the north to Newport, Blaenau Gwent and Cardiff councils in the south.
When are the elections?
Local elections in Wales are being held on Thursday, May 5 to elect councillors for the 22 local authorities, and community councils.
What do councillors do?
Wales’ councils deliver over 700 local services, including education and school transport, housing, social services, highways and transport, waste management, leisure services, consumer protection, environmental health, planning, economic development and emergency planning.
That means whether it’s a pothole on your road, your bins being collected, checking the food you’re served at pubs and restaurants is safe to eat as well as caring for children, older people or disabled people, councillors have a say. Not every council is the same size, but in each, councillors meet as part of the main council meetings where there is debate and matters are voted on, and they also sit on committees for things like planning.
Councils have to provide certain statutory services. These are set out in legislation and cover services like social care, environmental health inspection and planning. They can provide other services such as leisure and art centres at their discretion.
Councillors can be affiliated to a political party, like Labour, the Conservatives, Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru or choose to stand as an independent councillors.
When can I vote?
Most voting takes place on Thursday, May 5, with polling stations open from 7am until 10pm. This year, in a bid to boost turnout, a plan for early voting in some trial areas has been announced. In Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly and Torfaen some voting will take place from Saturday, April 30.
In Blaenau Gwent, the Ebbw Vale Learning Zone will be used as a polling station for early voting on the Tuesday and Wednesday ahead of the election, which all residents in the county will be able to access. This will include students of the college, who are above the age of 16.
In Bridgend, some wards where there has traditionally been low turnout will be given the option to vote early. In these areas polling stations will be open on the Tuesday and Wednesday before election day. A school in the area will also have an advance polling station where students will be able to vote.
In both Caerphilly and Torfaen council offices in Ystrad Mynach and Pontypool will be used as an advance polling station for all residents of the county on the weekend before election day.
How old do I need to be to vote?
The rules in Wales mean 16 and 17-year-olds and all foreign nationals resident in Wales will be able to cast their vote in May. You can see the background to that here.
Can I still register?
The deadline to register to vote has now passed.
Who is standing?
Every council publishes a full list of the people standing in your council area called a Statement of Person Nominated. You can find that on their respective websites.
Who do I vote for?
That’s entirely up to you. Our reporters will be looking at the promises that political parties and groups are making and the people standing in the build-up to May 5, you can see all our council election content online. You may also get candidates knocking on your door to answer your questions, or online via their social media channels.
Where do I vote?
You can find the address of your local polling station online via the Electoral Commission website and the details for the team at your local council who can help with specific queries.
What about postal votes or if I’m ill on the day?
Tuesday, April 19 is the deadline for receiving new postal vote and postal proxy applications, and for changes to existing postal or proxy votes and Tuesday, April 26 is the deadline for receiving new applications to vote by proxy (not postal proxy or emergency proxies) and Thursday, April 28, is the first date you can apply for replacements for lost postal votes.
If you know that you won’t be able to get to the polling station on polling day, you can ask someone you trust to cast your vote for you. This is called a proxy vote and the person casting your vote is often referred to as your proxy. If you need an emergency proxy vote, due to something like a medical emergency, having to be away with work or self-isolating due to Covid, you can ask for an emergency proxy vote. They can be made up to 5pm on polling day. You can read our guide to voting here.
When are results being announced?
Results are being announced in Wales from Friday, May 6, with results expected from the early afternoon and WalesOnline will be bringing you live coverage from results from across Wales as they happen. You can see the projected result times here.