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Why is there no local election in my area? Where 2022 UK council votes are taking place and how often they are



Voters across the UK will head to the polls on 5 May to select their local representatives.

Every council seat in Scotland, Wales and London is up for grabs, as well as many other parts of England, while Northern Ireland will elect its new assembly.

Bin collections, the state of roads and access to local hospitals and libraries tend to decide these elections, as opposed to issues like the economy and immigration which dominate the conversation during a general election.

The last time most of these seats were contested was in 2018.

Where are local elections taking place?

On 5 May people will go to the polls to vote for:

  • Every local authority in Scotland, Wales and London
  • South Yorkshire’s regional mayor, plus the borough councils of Barnsley and Sheffield
  • 60 district councils, 31 Metropolitan boroughs and 19 unitary authorities across the rest of England
  • County councils in North Yorkshire and Somerset
  • All 90 seats in the Northern Ireland assembly
  • Local mayors in Croydon, Hackney, Lewisham, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Watford

There is also a referendum in Bristol on whether to keep or abolish the position of the city’s elected mayor.

In England more than 4,000 council seats are being contested across 146 councils.

Some authorities are holding elections for all their seats, while at others only half or a third are being voted on.

Not every council is due for election, so many people in England will not be heading to the polls.

In both North Yorkshire and Somerset new unitary authorities are being elected to replace existing county and district councils. This is also happening is two Cumbian authorities; Cumberland and Westmorland and Furness.

Why is there no local election in my area?

Local councillors are elected for four-year terms. Some councils elect all of their councillors at the same time, while others select half or a third at each.

Local elections are staggered in England, meaning there are elections most years. They are normally held on the first Thursday in May.

County councils last held elections in 2021, which means there will not be another vote in the following authorities until 2025:

  • Buckinghamshire
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Derbyshire
  • Devon
  • East Sussex
  • Essex
  • Gloucestershire
  • Hampshire
  • Hertfordshire
  • Kent
  • Lancashire
  • Leicestershire
  • Lincolnshire
  • Norfolk
  • Northamptonshire
  • Nottinghamshire
  • Oxfordshire
  • Staffordshire
  • Suffolk
  • Surrey
  • Warwickshire
  • West Sussex
  • Worcestershire

The following district councils last voted in 2019, so are next due for election in 2023:

  • Allerdale
  • Arun
  • Ashfield
  • Ashford
  • Aylesbury Vale (postponed in 2019 pending reorganisation in Buckinghamshire)
  • Babergh
  • Barrow-in-Furness
  • Bassetlaw
  • Blaby
  • Bolsover
  • Boston
  • Braintree
  • Breckland
  • Broadland
  • Bromsgrove
  • Broxtowe
  • Canterbury City
  • Charnwood
  • Chelmsford
  • Chesterfield
  • Chichester
  • Chiltern (postponed in 2019 pending reorganisation in Buckinghamshire)
  • Copeland
  • Corby (postponed in 2019 pending reorganisation in Northamptonshire)
  • Cotswold
  • Dacorum
  • Dartford
  • Derbyshire Dales
  • Dover
  • Eastbourne
  • East Cambridgeshire
  • East Devon
  • East Hampshire
  • East Hertfordshire
  • East Lindsey
  • East Northamptonshire
  • East Staffordshire
  • East Suffolk
  • Eden
  • Epsom and Ewell
  • Erewash
  • Fenland
  • Folkestone and Hythe
  • Forest of Dean
  • Fylde
  • Gedling
  • Gravesham
  • Great Yarmouth
  • Guildford
  • Hambleton
  • Harborough
  • Hertsmere
  • High Peak
  • Hinckley and Bosworth
  • Horsham
  • Kettering (postponed in 2019 pending reorganisation in Northamptonshire)
  • King’s Lynn and West Norfolk
  • Lancaster City
  • Lewes
  • Lichfield
  • Maldon
  • Malvern Hills
  • Mansfield
  • Melton
  • Mendip
  • Mid Devon
  • Mid Suffolk
  • Mid Sussex
  • New Forest
  • Newark and Sherwood
  • North Devon
  • North East Derbyshire
  • North Kesteven
  • North Norfolk
  • North Warwickshire
  • North West Leicestershire
  • Northampton (postponed in 2019 pending reorganisation in Northamptonshire)
  • Oadby and Wigston
  • Ribble Valley
  • Richmondshire
  • Rother
  • Rushcliffe
  • Ryedale
  • Scarborough
  • Sedgemoor
  • Selby
  • Sevenoaks
  • Somerset West and Taunton
  • South Bucks (postponed in 2019 pending reorganisation in Buckinghamshire)
  • South Derbyshire
  • South Hams
  • South Holland
  • South Kesteven
  • South Norfolk
  • South Northamptonshire (postponed in 2019 pending reorganisation in Northamptonshire)
  • South Oxfordshire
  • South Ribble
  • South Somerset
  • South Staffordshire
  • Spelthorne
  • Stafford
  • Staffordshire Moorlands
  • Stratford upon Avon
  • Surrey Heath
  • Swale
  • Teignbridge
  • Tendring
  • Test Valley
  • Tewkesbury
  • Thanet
  • Tonbridge and Malling
  • Torridge
  • Uttlesford
  • Vale Of White Horse
  • Warwick
  • Waverley
  • Wealden
  • Wellingborough (postponed in 2019 pending reorganisation in Northamptonshire)
  • West Devon
  • West Lindsey
  • West Suffolk
  • Wychavon
  • Wycombe (postponed in 2019 pending reorganisation in Buckinghamshire)
  • Wyre
  • Wyre Forest

These unitary authorities are also next set to vote in 2023:

  • Bath and North East Somerset
  • Bedford
  • Blackpool
  • Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole
  • Bracknell Forest
  • Brighton and Hove
  • Central Bedfordshire
  • Cheshire East
  • Cheshire West and Chester
  • Darlington
  • Dorset (elections in 2019, 2024, 2029 and then every 4 years)
  • East Riding of Yorkshire
  • Herefordshire
  • Leicester
  • Luton
  • Medway
  • Middlesbrough
  • North Lincolnshire
  • North Somerset
  • Nottingham
  • Redcar and Cleveland
  • Rutland
  • South Gloucestershire
  • Stockton-on-Tees
  • Stoke
  • Telford and The Wrekin
  • Torbay
  • West Berkshire
  • Windsor and Maidenhead
  • York

Bristol and Warrington will vote in 2024, while Cornwall, County Durham, the Isle of Wight, Northumberland, Shropshire and Wiltshire are not due until 2025.

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