Did you know that beyond the big 'Yes'/'No' debate there are local elections happening in Cambridge? The Tab talks you through what it all means.
READ: The Tab‘s guide to the murky waters of tomorrow’s Voting Reform referendum.
Did you know that beyond the big ‘Yes’/’No’ debate there are elections happening in Cambridge? If not, you’re not alone. Most students don’t know the local elections are taking place, don’t know they are entitled to vote both here and at home, and don’t even see the point in voting in local elections in a city where they only spend half the year. But, the city council does directly affect us and we do have a say.
How to vote:
All students are automatically registered to vote by their colleges and there should be an exciting white card waiting for you in your pigeon hole telling you where the polling station is, or just supply your name to the nice lady on the desk and proceed to the booth. Polling stations are open from 7am-10pm this Thursday.
What you are voting for:
The constituency of Cambridge is controlled by the Lib. Dems, who were elected last summer. Currently, the city council is controlled by them as well. It is made up of:
• Liberal Democrat: 29 seats
• Labour: 10 seats
• Green Party: 2 seats
• Independent: 1 seat
The city council is split into 14 wards, or sections, which are each represented by three city councillors and one county councillor. These councillors are elected on alternate years. This means that you will have the chance to vote in Cambridge every year that you’re here.
Who to vote for:
– The Liberal Democrats, who currently run the council, say they would continue to protect key services such as rubbish collection whilst supporting the vulnerable as well as focussing on the city’s growth.
– The Conservatives say they would scrutinise the workings of the council to ensure value for money for Cambridge.
– Labour say they will continue to lobby against coalition spending cuts. They want to invest in jobs and growth for Cambridge including consultation on a ‘Cambridge Futures’ strategy.
– The Greens want to give employees a “living wage” and push recycling levels up to 70%.
Oliver Holbrook is a second year English student at Jesus College. He is standing in Market for the Labour Party. He was previously CULC’s Campaigns Officer. He wants to maintain green spaces in the city centre and lobby against planned cuts to Cambridgeshire Police. Facebook tells us his interests include both ‘Writing Essays’ and ‘Moaning About Writing Essays’.
Ashley Walsh is a second year historian at Downing College. He is standing in Castle for the Labour Party. He is a previous CULC chair. If elected he wants to listen to the views of local people, prioritise safety for cyclists and argues to retain EMA. His interests are ‘Equality’ and ‘Swimming’.
Jamie Gibson is a third year Geographer at Fitz. He is standing for the Green Party in Romsey. He is involved in CUGA and has campaigned for the Student Greens. If elected he wants to protect local businesses and cyclists in Romsey. His religious views are ‘Everyone should go vegetarian….now. Except for me. Cos I’m “such a fucking hypocrite”‘.
Edward Turnham is a medical researcher at Christ’s College. He is standing in Cherry Hinton for the Conservative Party and is a member of the CUCA committee. He believes in a strong sense of community in the area and in tackling anti-social behaviour. He has been involved in the campaign to freeze council tax. His activities are ‘Eating’, ‘Drinking’ and ‘Croquet’.
Which ward do you live in?
• Castle: Churchill, Fitzwilliam, Gonville and Caius, Lucy Cavendish, Magdalene, Murray Edwards, St Edmund’s, St John’s, Trinity Hall, Trinity
• Newnham: Clare (Memorial Court), Clare Hall, Darwin, Gonville & Caius (Steven Hawking Building & Parvey Court), King’s (Garden Hostel & Kingsfield), Newnham, Queens’, Robinson, Selwyn, St. Catharine’s (St. Chad’s), Trinity (Burrell’s Field), Wolfson
• Arbury: Clare (The Colony), Magdalene (Cripps Court)
• Trumpington: Downing (Lensfield Road)
• Petersfield: Anglia Ruskin University, Downing (Gonville Place), Hughes Hall
• Queen Edith’s: Homerton
Nicola Bartlett is the CULC’s Vice Chair.