Everything you need to know about voting in Tamworth this Thursday

photograph of a hand putting ballot paper in ballot boxResidents are being encouraged to use their vote and have their say on who they want to represent them, in this week’s local elections taking place on Thursday, May 6, 2021.

Tamworth people are being asked to select the people they want to represent them on local matters dealt with by Tamworth Borough Council, such as waste collection and recycling, parks and open spaces, homelessness, leisure services, street cleaning and planning.

As the council elects councillors in thirds, a total of 10 of the 30 seats on the council (one for each electoral ward) are up for election this year. A total of 37 candidates are running for election for those 10 available seats.

This year, voters are also being asked to choose their representative on Staffordshire County Council, which holds elections for its 62 councillors every four years.

Six of the county council’s electoral wards/divisions cover Tamworth and there are 21 candidates vying for your vote for those seats.

Staffordshire County Council’s powers and areas of responsibility include highways, adult social care, children’s services, libraries, trading standards and transport.

There’s also an additional vote this year to choose the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire, for which there are five candidates.

Polling stations across the town open at 7am on Thursday and will close at 10pm. A full list of the polling stations is available on the Tamworth Borough Council elections page at www.tamworth.gov.uk/elections-2021, together with all other information about candidates and voting.

Anyone who registered to vote by post this year must return their ballot paper before 10pm on election day, but people are urged to return them as soon as possible to help our election team process the paperwork.

If you suddenly can't attend on the day, due to medical emergency (such as having to self-isolate) or a work commitment, you can apply for someone you trust to visit the polling station and vote on your behalf. You can do this until 5pm on polling day. You must apply via the Tamworth Borough Council website. Help is also available by calling the elections team on 01827 214155.

Voting safely due to Covid

Tamworth Borough Council has plans in place to ensure people can vote safely amid the ongoing public health situation.

  • There will be limits on how many people are allowed inside, so please be prepared for the possibility of having to queue outside (coats, umbrellas, suncream etc)
  • As long as you join the queue before 10pm, you will still be able to vote
  • Hand sanitiser will be provided for you to sanitise your hands on entry and exit
  • Face coverings will be required inside the polling station
  • Staff will be wearing masks and visors, but please do ask them for help if needed
  • Polling stations and voting booths will be cleaned regularly, so you might need to wait briefly while this is carried out
  • You are welcome to take your own pen or pencil if you prefer, but clean pencils will be available
  • Where possible, polling stations will operate a one-way system, so please look out for any signage and instructions.

Andrew Barratt, Returning Officer and Chief Executive for Tamworth Borough Council, said: “As always, these elections are very important – they’re an opportunity to make your voice heard and have a say on who represents you on issues that directly affect day-to-day life here in Tamworth.

“We’ve put additional arrangements in place to help you stay safe at the polling station and you’ll see many of the measures you’ve become accustomed to in shops and businesses over the last 12 months, such as face coverings, social distancing and hand sanitiser.

“A great deal of planning goes into these elections, involving many members of staff, and they will be happy to assist people with any concerns on voting day.

“This year’s elections are a bigger challenge than normal due to having three lots of elections in one and against the background of coronavirus, but everyone is working very hard behind the scenes to ensure the vote is carried out safely for all concerned.”

This year, votes will not be counted overnight on Thursday. Instead, the votes for the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner will be counted and declared on Friday, while the Tamworth Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council votes will be counted and declared on Saturday, May 8.

The Tamworth Borough Council count will start at 9am and is expected to declare around lunchtime, if all goes to plan. The Staffordshire County Council count will start after lunch.

The results will be published on the Tamworth Borough Council website at www.tamworth.gov.uk/elections-2021. There will also be updates throughout the day on the council Facebook and Twitter pages.