The full list of people standing for election to Somerset County Council on 5 May has been published.
There are 110 seats available across the county, two in the 55 divisions with voters able to cast two votes in each division – the area that councillors represent – on polling day. Yesterday (5 April) was the deadline for candidates to formally submit their intention to stand for election.
These are crucial elections for Somerset with the creation of a new, unitary council in April 2023 – the first major change to the way the county is governed in almost 50 years. New councillors will build a new and very different kind of local government, that will shape the county for decades.
More than 300 people have put themselves forward and the full list of nominations can now be found on the opens in a new windowCounty Council website.
For their first year, the councillors will take responsibility for all current County Council services and oversee the local government reorganisation to establish a single unitary council on 1 April 2023.
District councils will remain until 31 March 2023 and the councillors serving on them will continue in their roles until that date.
From 1 April 2023, the 110 councillors of the unitary council will be responsible for services that are currently delivered by the county and four district councils, ranging from adults and children’s social care to highways and housing, and from libraries to planning and licensing.
City, town, and parish council elections also take place on 5 May, offering the chance for people to stand up for their community right at the grass roots. They too will serve a five-year term.
There are around 433,758 people registered to vote in Somerset and there will be around 500 polling stations open for business from 7am to 10pm on 5 May, from pubs to parish rooms, cricket clubs to skittle alleys. More than 1,200 staff from the County and District Councils, plus volunteers, are working together on the elections.
Anyone eligible to vote but not already on the electoral register has one week left to put that right – the deadline is midnight on Thursday, 14 April. You can do it online by visiting the opens in a new windowGOV.uk website or by contacting your local district council.
Electors still have time to apply for postal or proxy votes. The deadline for postal votes is before 5pm on 19 April. Applications for a proxy vote – appointing someone you trust to vote on your behalf – must be submitted before 5pm on 26 April.