So hands up those of you that knew about the Mayoral elections on the 3rd May? Now hands up those of you that understand politics and what the role of the London Mayor is?? If like me, you find politics confusing, boring and just switch off at the mere mention of it, well think again!!! Hopefully by the time you've read this article, you will be converted and be treating politics as your new best friend.
What is the role of the Mayor?
The Mayor is responsible for a wide range of issues in London that affect everyone of us on a daily basis. This year also brings in a new responsibility of having control over the Police. The Mayor and the London committee are responsible for:
- Fire and Emergency Planning
- Economic development and regeneration
- Planning and Development
Who are the candidates?
There are seven candidates in total, two of whom have been previous elected Mayor of London. The seven are Siobhan Benita, an independent candidate, Carlos Cortiglia for the BNP, Boris Johnson for the Conservative Party, Jenny Jones for the Green Party, Ken Livingstone for the Labour Party, Brian Paddick for the Liberal Democrats and finally Lawrence James Webb for the Fresh Choice for London.
Of these seven candidates, four are seen as the front runners and it was these four that attended the recent Stonewall Mayoral Hustlings. The current Mayor Boris Johnson along with Ken Livingston, Brain Paddick and Jenny Jones each pitched their manifestos and undertook a question and answer session from the LGBT community hosted by Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill.
You can view the full Stonewall Hustings here - hopefully it well help inform your decision when it comes to the big vote on Thursday.
If you've lost your polling card, you don't actually need it, but you do need to be registered to vote at your current address and will need ID if not the polling card to be able to vote on the day. Most polling stations open at 7 and shut late in the evening. Your local council's website will have details of polling station addresses.