On Thursday (5 May) 4,411 council seats will be contested in England for the local elections - with most seats last elected in 2018.
Peterborough residents will be voting for 19 councillors who they want to represent them on the city council, which has a total of 60 seats.
The council is administered by the Conservatives who have 28 seats while other parties make up the remaining 32 seats.
This means that the council is carefully balanced with no overall control even though the Conservatives are the largest single party.
In order to pass decisions, a majority vote of at least 31 councillors is required and currently the 28 Conservatives and 3 Werrington First councillors usually provide that majority.
The Conservatives in Peterborough have held that position (or a controlling majority) since 1999.
The last time Labour held a majority in the council was in 1997, the year that Tony Blair was elected Prime Minister in the General Election.
Where will councillors be elected?
One councillor will be elected in the wards of Bretton, Central, Dogsthorpe, East, Eye,Thorney & Newborough, Fletton & Stanground (2 seats), Fletton & Woodston, Gunthorpe, Hampton Vale, Hargate & Hempsted, North, Orton Longueville, Orton Waterville, Park, Paston & Walton, Ravensthorpe, Stanground South and Werrington.
When do local elections take place?
County councils are elected in full every four years, with the last election in 2021.
However, due to consultations about possible unitarization, elections for three county councils were postponed to 2022.
County councils are the upper tier of a two-tier system of local government, with the area each council covers subdivided into district councils with different responsibilities.
The elections are ‘first-past-the-post’ elections with a mixture of single-member and multi-member electoral divisions.
So why are these local elections so important to the people of Peterborough?
For some aged over 16, these will be the first elections in which they can take part and use their vote, for others this is the first opportunity since 2018 to alter the way they want their council to administer the taxes they pay.
If you are still pondering whether or not to head down to the polling station then here are some reasons why the result of the elections could make a difference to you:
If you are unhappy with your council tax bill then local councils decide how much you pay.
Councils spend about 25% of all public money in the UK.
The largest slice of budgets goes on education, followed by social services - much of which is spent on elderly care – and the police - as well as council staff.
Councils get money from a variety of pots - but central government funding is being cut each year and in England has fallen by 26% overall in real terms since 2014-15.
In this climate, some authorities are trying to reduce their bills by handing over services they used to provide to private companies.
Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday.