Residents in Peterborough will be going to the polls next month (May 5) to decide a number of city council and parish council seats.
Who currently has control of the council?
They have been in control of the city council since 1999 but have relied on the support of the three Werrington First councillors, councillor John Fox, councillor Judy Fox and councillor Steve Lane, for the past two years to give them a workable majority.
In December, councillor Chris Harper left the Conservative group to join forces with these three councillors to form Peterborough First. This took the number of Conservative seats down by one but still means they have effective control of the council due to the agreement between the groups.
What is the current make up of the council?
Heading into the election, the number of seats held by each party is:
Conservatives: 28, Labour/Labour and Co-operative: 16, Liberal Democrats: 7, Peterborough First 4, Green Party 3, 1 Independent and 1 vacant.
The vacancy has been caused by the resignation of Liberal Democrat representative for Fletton and Stanground Terri Haynes in March.
Ed Murphy, formerly of the Labour group, suspended his membership of the party in January and is listed on the ballot in May as an Independent candidate.
Who is up for election?
There are 19 seats up for election on the city council this May.
Seven of them are held by the Conservatives, five by Labour, four by the Liberal Democrats, one by the Greens, one by Werrington First and the one vacancy will be filled.
Mahboob Hussain (Central Ward/Labour), Richard Brown (Eye, Thorney and Newborough/Conservative), Shazia Bashir (North/Conservative) and Irene Walsh (Orton Longueville/Conservative) will not be seeking re-election in their current wards.
Councillor Bashir will run in Park Ward and councillor Walsh in Fletton and Stanground this time around but the other councillors are not on the ballot at all.
Councillor Julie Howell (Orton Waterville/Green) is the only group leader up for election but councillor Lane (Werrington First/Werrington), who is the current mayor, will be contending for his seat.
Will there be a change of control?
The Conservatives are likely to remain the largest party, given it would require a 12-seat swing towards Labour/Labour and Co-operative.
Only the Conservatives can end the night with an overall majority but should they fail to do so, they would once again have the opportunity to form a minority administration.
Labour would also have the opportunity to do this if the Conservatives could not do so and if they could rally enough support from parties prepared to support the coalition.
When is the election?
The election takes place on Thursday, May 5 and polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm.
Details about where your polling station will be will be on your polling card you receive once you have registered to vote.
When is the deadline to register to vote and how can I do it?
The deadline to register to vote is Thursday, April 14.
This can be done on the government’s website.
If you would prefer not to go to the polling station, you can apply for a postal vote or a proxy vote (where someone votes on your behalf).
You must be registered to vote to apply for a postal or proxy vote (so must your proxy).
You can download a postal or proxy vote form from the Electoral Commission website. Once you have completed the form and signed it, you need to send it to the Electoral Team via: email to [email protected] or post to: Electoral Services, Peterborough City Council, Town Hall, Bridge Street, Peterborough, PE1 1GF.
If you do not have online access, you can call for a postal/proxy form to be sent out to you on: 01733 747474.
The postal vote application deadline for all forms to be received for these elections is 5pm on Tuesday April 19.
If you would like to apply for a proxy vote, this means someone voting on your behalf, the deadline for applying for a new proxy arrangement is 5pm on Tuesday April 26.
When will we know the result?
The result of the election will become clear on Friday, May 6, when the votes have been counted, verified and announced.