If there is one thing that really raises my blood pressure it is the apathy of so many people when it comes to using their vote! It took a lot of hard work (and in some cases a loss of life or a spell of imprisonment) to give us the right to vote. Every time we do not exercise our right to put a cross in that box we are insulting the memory of those campaigners.
If Covid restrictions allow elections will be held on May 6. This year three elections will be held simultaneously.
One for Oxfordshire County Council
The Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner
The Oxford City Council
I have heard all the arguments about it doesn't matter who we vote for - they do want they want.
As Ambassadors we are familiar with budgets. We know money comes into the coffers from various sources and we can see how it is spent in our local areas.
I am sure you all have friends throughout the UK and it might be worth finding out from them what services are provided by their councils and who runs them. I am certain you will soon see that not all councils provide the same things. Similarly the rates of council tax vary. So deciding who runs the council does matter and only by voting can you influence this. OK so you may not get the result you want but at least when you complain about council services you know that you tried to influence the outcome.
One factor that some may not be aware of is that this year all councillors have to win their seats in the City election. Normally only 50% stand, however because of changes to ward boundaries electors will be voting for 2 councillors in each ward. If you check you may discover that previously you were for instance in Littlemore but from May you will be in Cowley. This will probably mean that the polling station you vote at will have changed. So do check before you go.
Because of the Covid situation you may feel you are not comfortable about visiting a polling station. Consider using a postal or proxy vote. You can request this at any time you do not have to wait for the election to be announced. Details can be found at the Electoral Commission website :electorialcommission.org.uk/i-am-a-voter/how-cast-your-vote.
So please use your vote – and urge others to do so!