Posted: 06.05.21 at 00:10 by Jason Noble (local democracy reporter)
Voters across Suffolk will take to the polls today for the first elections held since the Covid-19 pandemic struck.
Elections will be taking place for all of the seats at Suffolk County Council and for the Police and Crime Commissioner – both of which were delayed from May 2020 as a result of the pandemic, see the Peninsula Division's candidates here...
In addition, there are two seats up for grabs in by-elections, with one at Babergh District Council, two at East Suffolk Council, six at West Suffolk Council, and for a third of Ipswich Borough Council's seats.
Some communities will also have elections for town and parish councils or neighbourhood plan referendums.
Many voters this year have been encouraged to make use of postal voting while the coronavirus pandemic continues, but registered voters casting their ballot today in person can do so at their polling station between 7am and 10pm.
People are being urged to check their polling card to make sure they know where their polling station is, as some may have changed as a result of the pandemic, while voters casting their ballots are being encouraged to bring their own pencil, wear a face mask and expect some socially-distanced queuing to help prevent the risk of the virus spreading.
Suffolk County Council is currently run by a Conservative majority, with all 75 seats being decided in the polls today.
For Ipswich Borough Council, which is currently Labour controlled, there are are 18 seats being contested across 16 wards. That is one seat in each ward plus additional seats in the Castle Hill and Holywells wards where councillor resignations in the last year have prompted a by-election. Voters in those two wards can put a cross in two boxes.
The PCC election has four candidates standing, and voters will see their polling card features two columns – a first choice and a second choice. People should fill in both columns with different candidates to ensure their ballot is not rejected.
East Suffolk’s by-elections are for the Framlingham and Beccles & Worlingham wards, while at West Suffolk, the six wards where a by-election is happening are: Abbeygate; Clare, Hundon & Kedington; Lakenheath; Moreton Hall; Southgate; and Whepstead & Wickhambrook.