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Big Issue: Use your vote in tomorrow's elections

By The Citizen  |  Posted: May 02, 2012

Comments (1)

WE are incredibly lucky to live in a great democracy and get to have our say in how our lives are run, not only at a local level, but at a national and European level too.

Tomorrow, we have elections in Gloucester city in ten of our 15 wards.

Our local system means that roughly one third of our councillors get elected every year.

There are more than 66,000 people living in Abbey, Barnwood, Barton and Tredworth, Elmbridge, Grange, Hucclecote, Longlevens, Matson and Robinswood, Moreland and Tuffley who are eligible to vote this week.

Many will turn up at one of our 50 polling stations. Nearly 14,000 people will vote by post. And just under 50 have made arrangements for someone they trust to vote on their behalf.

The people who are voting are influencing the way local affairs are run.

The city council is a complex organisation. We are responsible for providing more than 50 services to the public – and many others in partnership with other public and private sector organisations.

As the only service that every resident in the city receives, people tend to think of refuse collection and recycling as one of our prime responsibilities.

And that of course is true. But there are many, many others. We do air monitoring, work with local communities, run markets, monitor planning and work tirelessly to encourage regeneration.

We provide local play areas and parks, we run local museums and help people in housing need.

The list goes on.

But the important thing to stress is that almost every aspect of local life is covered by the services we provide or the partners that we work closely with.

As chief executive and the returning officer for the local elections, I am not allowed to be political – and nor would I wish to be.

My job is to ensure that the elections run smoothly and efficiently.

But part of my job is to encourage you to vote and take part in the electoral process – whichever party you choose to vote for.

Local councillors are there to represent the area in which you live and the local services and amenities that you receive.

You are voting for someone to represent you and your neighbours in the decision-making processes that affect your daily lives.

The polls open at 7am and close at 10pm. We will then be working into the small hours of the morning counting the votes and putting the results – "live as they happen" – on the city council website.

Elections are also taking place in many other places across the county.

If you are eligible to vote and are on the electoral register, then take a few minutes on Thursday to exercise your right to vote and be part of this great democratic process.

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  • clswillow  |  May 03 2013, 8:27PM

    I voted yesterday, but I wish I hadn't bothered now - there really is no point voting in Devon elections, whether local or general, unless you are a Conservative supporter, which I most emphatically am not. If we reformed our voting system, then I would feel more inclined to vote in the future,

  • chrisrainbow  |  May 03 2012, 2:46PM

    show what we think of tory policies,if you dont like em ,vote against em

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  • JackGuest  |  May 03 2012, 1:27PM
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  • JackGuest  |  May 03 2012, 1:19PM

    Just the very existence of nations, countries dividing humanity into stupid parts, is the whole game of the politician. And this I call pollution. It is poison to humanity. That's why you don't see really authentically alive people in the world. You are asking, "People generally understand democracy to mean the freedom to choose politicians." Do you see the idiotic understanding of the people? It is choosing between poisons. The bottles contain the same poison -- on one is written "Democratic," on another is written "Republican." Politicians have been befooling you. They have managed the whole strategy in such a way that you never become aware what is happening. You choose one kind of poison for five years; for those five years you have to suffer that poison. After five years you are fed up with this kind of poison. You change to another bottle -- Republican, Liberal, Democratic, Communist, Socialist. They are all available in all shapes and sizes, whatsoever suits you. But you will fall in the same ditch. Maybe there are minor differences between poisons, but poison is poison. I do not see democracy as the freedom to choose between the politicians. To me, democracy means there are no longer any politicians around. You individually choose somebody you feel is the right person; there are no political parties. In a real democracy, political parties cannot exist; there is no reason why they should exist. People are intelligent enough to choose on their own. The politician need not go and convince the people, "I am the right person and the other is wrong." And the other is also doing the same, and the poor people in their utter confusion somehow choose somebody. I have never voted in my life, for the simple reason that all those politicians and political parties are basically the same. They want to exploit you, oppress you. And it is a good strategy that after five years when you get fed up with one party, you can choose another. People's memory is not very strong. So for five years it is the Republican party sucking you, doing everything that is wrong, deceiving you and the whole world. After five years, it is the Democratic party doing the same thing behind a different label. And when for five years the Democratic party is ruling, you get fed up with them, and you forget completely that those Republicans had done the same before. Five years is enough time for people to forget. And you go on moving between two parties. There may be more parties in other countries, but basically two parties are in a deep conspiracy against the people: "Five years we exploit them, then we will give you five years to exploit them. And again we will come back." In a real democracy what is the need of political parties? The real need is to make people more alert, more intelligent, so they can choose individually, not impressed by propaganda. - Osho

  • GlosCityRes  |  May 03 2012, 10:31AM

    Just seen the Labour candidate in Grange again, wonder if any of the others will pay me a visit.

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  • Glevum_Girl  |  May 02 2012, 2:55PM

    by charity55Wednesday, May 02 2012, 2:04PM "I live in the Grange ward I have only seen one candidate not even a piece of paper from others If they are too lazy to deliver such they do not deserve to be elected. So why do they bother to put up." Who was the candidate that you saw? What party?

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  • charity55  |  May 02 2012, 2:04PM

    I live in the Grange ward I have only seen one candidate not even a piece of paper from others If they are too lazy to deliver such they do not deserve to be elected. So why do they bother to put up.

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  • gunnersaurus1  |  May 02 2012, 12:13PM

    1 havant seen anybody out canvessing so if they cant bo bothered why should anybody support them i usually support one of the top three but i think now i would go for the bnp or ukip

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  • Bartonite  |  May 02 2012, 11:32AM

    by SELINA30 "Its no good moaning about this council and government if your not going to vote" That's frankly not the case. Most votes achieve nothing, but complaints to the council get a response, and usually action. Or are you saying that people who don't see the point of voting have no right to complain?

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  • Grahambarker  |  May 02 2012, 11:16AM

    Changing your cllr doesnt change the way the councils are run or what decisons are made - the well paid job protecting civil servants have a policy to tie us up in red tape , make us pay for Everythign and their evolving role is to provide even le and merely dictate through legistaltion how we should do things oursleves - and then charge for the service! I am no longer voting in the local elections as nothign changes for the common good. - change is too slow to have any real impact, delay tactis merely drain every one of energy and money, and all council staff should try get a job in the private sector where ther shenanigans and delay tactis would earn them nothig but the boot.

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