Time to vote and make your voice heard

Rutherglen Reformer - - Your Vote Matters -

This week marks the Scot­tish lo­cal coun­cil elec­tions and how you cast your vote on Thurs­day will di­rectly af­fect your life.

The elec­tions on May 4 give us all a chance to make a dif­fer­ence on how coun­cil ser­vices are de­liv­ered.

It will also be the first time in Scot­land that 16 and 17-year-olds can vote in the coun­cil elec­tions.

Young peo­ple need to know that their opin­ion mat­ters and their vote could make a huge dif­fer­ence.

Scots are praised for be­ing po­lit­i­cally en­gaged but turnout at lo­cal elec­tions was still just 39.7 per cent in 2012.

This year lo­cal coun­cils are hop­ing that Scots will turn out in record num­bers to de­cide which coun­cil­lors will best meet their needs.

From school­ing chil­dren to look­ing af­ter the vul­ner­a­ble, from col­lect­ing bins to look­ing af­ter lo­cal roads and trans­port, from hous­ing to parks and li­braries, the coun­cil pro­vides im­por­tant ser­vices.

You will be vot­ing for coun­cil­lors to rep­re­sent your views and opin­ions, and de­cide how the coun­cil spends its money and pro­vides ser­vices.

And the de­ci­sions they make at your lo­cal coun­cil cover the ser­vices you use ev­ery day.

Scot­land’s 32 coun­cils ac­count for one quar­ter of public spend­ing – that’s bil­lions of pounds of your money.

Don’t you want a say on how they spend your hard-earned cash?

Vot­ing also gives you a le­git­i­mate right to com­plain, whether it’s about pot­holes or mess in parks. But if you don’t bother to vote, do you re­ally have the right to moan if you are un­happy about other peo­ple’s choices?

The ser­vices lo­cal coun­cils de­liver in­clude: ●Polling takes Thurs­day, place on May 4, be­tween and 10pm. 7am ●Votes will be­gin to be counted be­tween 9.30am on 8am and Fri­day, May 5.

– schools, nurs­eries, build­ings, mu­se­ums, pools and sports cen­tres, child­care, psy­cho­log­i­cal ser­vices, halls and com­mu­nity fa­cil­i­ties, li­braries

- com­mu­nity care, chil­dren and fam­ily ser­vices - roads, public trans­port, eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, flood pre­ven­tion, build­ing con­trol - refuse col­lec­tion and dis­posal, street light­ing, food safety, health pro­mo­tion, an­i­mal wel­fare, main­te­nance of parks and ceme­ter­ies

- al­lo­ca­tion and main­te­nance of public hous­ing, home­less pro­vi­sion, rent col­lec­tion, cap­i­tal in­vest­ment.

Can­di­dates stand­ing in lo­cal elec­tions are from your area, they know the lo­cal is­sues and are gen­uinely con­cerned.

If you have time, try to un­der­stand the qual­i­ties each can­di­date brings. They, if suc­cess­ful, may be the peo­ple you need to get in touch with if you want to im­prove your lives over the next few years.

And they will have a cru­cial say over whether planned de­vel­op­ments take place down your road.

■To find out which can­di­dates are stand­ing in your coun­cil ward you can go to www.your­votem­at­ters.co.uk and en­ter your post­code.

Make it count Be sure to cast your vote Polling sta­tions will be open from 7am un­til 10pm

Have your say

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.