The 2021 local elections in England and Wales will take place on 6 May, with council seats, mayoral offices and Police and Crime Commissioner positions up for grabs all over the country.
As well as local government elections, devolved parliamentary elections will also be taking place in Scotland and Wales.
There is also a parliamentary by-election taking place in Hartlepool, after the sitting Labour MP, Mike Hill, resigned earlier this year.
How can I vote?
The deadline to register to vote has now passed, but if you’ve voted in a previous election and your details are unchanged since, you will be registered to vote this time.
To check this, you can get in touch with your local authority - if you’re unsure which authority to contact you can enter your postcode on the government’s website to find out.
To vote you will need to either attend a polling station in person, or complete a mail-in ballot, if you have applied for a postal vote.
Social distancing measures will be in place at polling stations, and if possible you should bring your own pencil to vote.
Where are the elections taking place?
People in most parts of the country will be able to vote in at least one election.
Because last year’s local elections were postponed due to the pandemic, the 6 May elections will see more seats up for grabs than any year since 1973.
For local council seats, some authorities have a third of seats up for re-election, a handful have half, while a significant number have all their seats up for grabs.
There are eight combined authority mayoral elections taking place, five single authority races and 39 PCC elections.
NationalWorld has put together a list of all elections taking place on 6 May.
Why do the local elections matter?
Local governments are responsible for delivering a wide range of public services, from social care to planning and rubbish collection, with the exact roles different depending on the area.
In some parts of the country, local government has a two-tier structure, with a number of smaller district councils sitting under a larger county council, and the responsibilities divided between them.
In other parts of the country, a single unitary authority representing an entire area will be responsible for all the functions of local government.
Who is standing in my area?
Across all elections, there are around 19,000 candidates standing on 6 May.
The two main parties, Conservative and Labour, are standing candidates in around 90 per cent of the elections, while the Liberal Democrats will contest around 70 per cent.
But there will also be a significant number of candidates representing smaller parties, as well as independents.
In order to find out what is up for grabs in your area, and which candidates are standing, you can enter your postcode on the Electoral Commission’s website.
This will bring up a list of all the elections you are eligible to vote in, if you’re registered, and within each it will list the candidates standing.