As several people have told me they were confused about the different elections in Woodbridge on Thursday, I thought I’d give you a brief (apolitical) run-through of what they are for, why you are voting and how the voting differs between elections.
First of all, for first-time voters: there are four polling booths in Woodbridge.
- If you are registered to vote at RIVERSIDE ward (your card will tell you so) you go to the Community Hall (Deben Annexe), Station Road.
- If SECKFORD, it is at St Johns Church Hall, St Johns Street.
- If FARLINGAYE, vote at the Avenue Evangelical Church Hall, 42 Warwick Avenue.
- And if KYSON, you vote at the Fred Reynolds Centre, Churchill Close (off Peterhouse Crescent, and then Queens Avenue) .
When you arrive at the polling booth you will get three separate voting papers
The FIRST paper is for the GENERAL ELECTION. This is to vote for a member of parliament (MP) for Suffolk Coastal Parliamentaty constituency- a huge long rural constituency that stretches from Felixstowe to Southwold. You are voting on national issues – policy on education, health and defence, membership of Europe. I don’t suppose I need to say there has been 5 years of Conservative/LibDem Coalition following 13 years of Labour government leading up to this election!
You can vote for ONE candidate from the list below. The candidate with the most votes will win.
- Therese Anne Coffey (Conservative – the current MP)
- Daryll Pitcher (UKIP)
- James Peter Charles Sandbach (Lib Dems)
- Rachel Ann Smith-Lyte (Green)
- Russell Whiting (Labour)
The SECOND paper is for the DISTRICT COUNCIL ELECTION. The Suffolk Coastal District Council is a tier of local government between Suffolk County Council and Woodbridge Town Council. It is responsible for services like rubbish collection , council tax, leisure services and planning. A recent boundary change reduced the prospective number of Suffolk Coastal councillors to 42 from 55 in different boundaries: 25 sitting councillors have stood down at this election. This means there will be quite a shake up. The previous administration had been a strong Conservative majority.
You can vote for UP TO THREE candidates from the list below. The three candidates with the most votes will win.
The third paper is for the WOODBRIDGE TOWN COUNCIL election. Woodbridge Town Council owns and maintains various public spaces and the 16 elected councillors sit on various committees. They also the first port of call when Woodbridge residents have problems. There are 4 councillors for each of Woodbridge’s 4 wards.
In this election there are five or six candidates for each ward election -Farlingaye, Seckford, Kyson or Riverside and you only vote for the candidates in the ward you live in. You can vote for UP TO FOUR candidates. The four candidates in each ward with the most votes will win and represent the ward.