Only registered electors are able to vote, and it normally takes a fortnight before a new registration becomes effective. For the current Council elections the last date for registration is 17 April in order to vote on 3 May.
The easiest method is to register on-line, which takes about 5 minutes. Go to the national elections website https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote and follow the instructons on screen. You will need your National Insurance (NI) number, which is printed on pay slips and tax documents. University and college offices also hold this information. If you donít have your NI number, proceed through the website until you get stuck, then click the links for ďlost NI numberĒ to have it posted on to you. Most people complete the application on screen, but there is an option to download a printable form and post it back to the Council.
Alternatively, it is possible to register by phoning the Leeds City Council elections office on 0113 222 4411 (Mon-Fri 8am-6pm). Phoning the Council can be a challenge, and they will try to steer you towards their website, but once connected you can register by phone and use student registration details in place of National Insurance (NI) numbers. Elections officers are working with education providers to maximise student registration. You can also phone the NI helpline 0300 200 3502 and ask them to post you a reminder, but they wonít disclose NI numbers over the phone.
Leeds City Council has a mass of electoral information at https://www.leeds.gov.uk/your-council/elections There is a very useful facility to verify your registration details at https://secured.leeds.gov.uk/Pages/Elections-E-form.aspx. Many students have a dual registration at their Leeds and home addresses, and similar facilities are available to people who work extensively away from home. The Electoral Commission have published advice on this at http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/faq/voting-and-registration/i-have-two-homes.-can-i-register-to-vote-at-both-addresses. It is legal to vote in two local elections held on the same day, providing these are for different councils, but you mustnít vote twice in a General Election!
You must register by 17 April in order to vote on 3 May, and you must be registered before seeking a postal vote. You wonít be asked the reason why you want a postal vote, but officials keep a copy of your signature, so there are only paper application forms. You can download blank forms from most official election websites. Postal vote applications must reach the local elections office in the Leeds Town Hall before 5pm on 18 April.
Donít leave it till the last minute! The election website crashed before the Euro poll and people had a struggle to register in time. If you have a postal vote but forget to post it then you or a friend can hand in your sealed envelope at any Leeds polling station before the poll closes. Election staff will make sure it is delivered to the correct count. Please donít give it to any of the election candidates - they are only allowed to touch their own ballot paper!
Boundary changes mean that the entire Council must be re-elected this year: 99 councillors representing 33 wards. Each elector will have three votes. In Kirkstall Ward, Cllr Lucinda Yeadon has decided to retire as a councillor, so the three Labour candidates are Hannah Bithell, John Illingworth and Fiona Venner.
Hannah moved to Leeds ten years ago when she started University. She now teaches Geography in a Bradford school, having previously worked on the railways. She is involved in many facets of the community: Guides, Inner West Community Committee, and the Kirkstall Neighbourhood Forum.
John is a retired biochemist who taught medical and science students at Leeds University. He has served as a Kirkstall councillor since 1979. He defended Leeds Childrenís Heart Surgery against closure and fought greedy property developers who threatened our local environment.
Fiona was elected in 2014. She takes pride in her work on the refurbishment of Clayton Court and Grange, as well as the anti dog-fouling campaigns she ran with Hawksworth Wood & Kirkstall Valley Primary Schools. Fiona has worked in mental health for 25 years and is the Chief Executive of Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service.
|Alisdair Calder McGregor||Lib Dem||905|
|Zoe Estelle Metcalfe||Conservative||11048|
|Andrew Mark Pointon||Green Party||1023|
|Rachel Jane Reeves||Labour Party||27013||elected|
|Mark Anthony Thackray||UKIP||1815|
|Total votes cast||(62.25% turnout)||42229|
|Martin Gareth Hughes||Lib Dems||212|
|Stuart William Long||Independent||53|
|George William Andrew Rear||Conservative||313|
|Morgan Rhys Tatchell-Evans||Green Party||420|
|Cain Arron Weber||UKIP||547|
|Lucinda Joy Yeadon||Labour Party||3453||elected|
|Total votes cast||(34% turnout)||5063|
|Paul William Thomas Denner||UKIP||1017|
|Jonathan Mark Heap||Lib Dem||548|
|Meadow Bethany Hudson||Green Party||1755|
|John Anthony Illingworth||Labour||4957||elected|
|Dean Mehan||TU & Social.||133|
|Matthew Peter Wharton||Conservative||1184|
|Total votes cast||(62% turnout)||9594|
|Martin Hughes||Lib Dem||252|
|Stuart William Long||Independent||55|
|Ben John Elliott Mayor||TU & S v. Cuts||56|
|Morgan Rhys Tatchell-Evans||Green||724|
|Fiona Elizabeth Venner||Labour||2696||elected|
|Matthew Peter Wharton||Conservative||379|
|Total votes cast||(34% turnout)||5102|
There were no local elections in 2013.
|Simon Harris Fearn||AGS||136|
|Annabel Cleo Gooch||Conservative||398|
|Stuart William Long||Independent||173|
|Tom Mead||Lib Dem||293|
|Morgan Rhys Tatchell-Evans||Green||437|
|Lucinda Joy Yeadon||Labour||3006||elected|
|Total votes cast||(28% turnout)||4443|
Labour now holds 63 Council seats, Conservative 19, Lib Dem 10, Morley Independents 5 and Greens 2. Labour has a majority of 27 over all other parties. Only one third of the councillors are elected each year, so the total number of seats held by each party includes the results of earlier elections.
|John Anthony Illingworth||Labour||3643||elected|
|Chris Lovell||Lib Dem||636|
|Total votes cast||(35% turnout)||5634|
|Bernard Peter Atha||Labour||4012||elected|
|Christine Ruth Coleman||Lib Dem||3125|
|Matthew Peter Wharton||Conservative||1420|
|Total votes cast||(57.4% turnout)||9473||turnout boosted by Parliamentary election|
There were no local elections in 2009.
|Lucinda Joy Yeadon||Labour||1981||elected|
|Christine Ruth Coleman||Lib Dem||1844|
|Philip Richard Smith||Conservative||495|
|Total votes cast||(30% turnout)||5047|
|John Anthony Illingworth||Labour||2236||elected|
|Christine Ruth Coleman||Lib Dem||1743|
|Sandra Marie Cockayne||BNP||380|
|Martin Leslie Reed||Green||378|
|Jeremy Mark Kapp||Conservative||374|
|Total votes cast||(32% turnout)||5111||including 1493 postal votes|
|Bernard Peter Atha||Labour||2149||elected|
|Christine Ruth Coleman||Lib Dem||1546|
|Martin Leslie Reed||Green||537|
|Benjamin Robert Jackson||Conservative||489|
|Total votes cast||(29% turnout)||4721|
Leeds City Council has 33 wards and 99 councillors, with 3 councillors per ward. The councillors take turns to stand for election. Each year one third of the councillors retire and face re-election, and once elected they serve for four years. Once every four years there is a gap year with no elections. This was formerly used for the County Council elections, until the County Councils were abolished by Margaret Thatcher's government in 1985.
The various political parties all use slightly different systems, but the basic idea is similar. In Leeds, various Labour Party branches and affiliated organisations put forward the names of people they already consider suitable to stand as local election candidates, anywhere in Leeds. These individuals are interviewed by senior party officers to assess their overall suitability for public office and their knowledge of Labour Party rules, policies and procedures. Most of them are successful, and their names are added to a panel of potential candidates. When individual ward parties come to select their future candidate (usually in the autumn) they must chose somebody from the panel, but not necessarily from their own ward. There are additional rules which are designed to increase the proportion of female candidates, but these do not apply to existing councillors seeking re-election.
All political parties normally choose their candidates and election agents long before the official start of the election campaign. When the election is called, a proposer, seconder and ten "assentors" sign the candidate's nomination papers and deliver them to the returning officer. These papers are checked for authenticity, and the candidate receives a letter stating that their nomination has been accepted.
Spending by political parties is controlled by law during the period between the candidate's successful nomination and election day. The sums permitted are quite small in relation to the size of the electorate. In Kirkstall, with about 16,000 electors the limit is about £1400 per candidate, or about 8p per elector. This would not even buy sufficient postage stamps! We strongly support the limits on election expenses, but they do explain why election materials often seem cheaply produced, and why they are almost all delivered by volunteer helpers and supporters working in their own time.
After each election the returning officer produces a "marked register" showing who has voted. It does not say which way they voted, but it does record the fact that they cast their vote. Political parties often use this list to target their publicity materials towards these people, who are more likely to vote in the next election. None of the parties want to be exclusive, but such targeting is often the only way to keep inside the expenses limit.
Last updated 02 April 2018 at 00:55. Back to the top
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