Everything you need to know about the 2021 local elections in Cambridge

Elections for City Council, County Council, the Mayor, and the Police and Crime Commissioner are tomorrow (06/05)

Across the country people are heading to the polls tomorrow (06/05) for the 2021 local elections. In Cambridge, we will be electing members of Cambridge City Council, Cambridge County Council, the Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. That is a lot of elections, so the The Tab is here to cut through the confusion and tell you about the positions you are electing, the choices you can make, and the issues at play.

Cambridge City Council

Cambridge City Council is a district council which means that it is responsible for things like bin collection, parks and local planning. Councillors are elected by ward and an election will take place in all 14 wards of the city. Each ward has three councillors and usually only a third of councillors are elected each year. However, because the boundaries of some wards have changed and all councillors for the affected wards need to be re-elected, all 42 seats are up for election this year. Cambridge colleges fall (roughly) into the city’s wards as follows:

  • Castle: Churchill, Clare, Fitzwilliam, Lucy Cavendish, Murray Edwards, and St Edmund’s
  • Market: Christ’s, Corpus Christi, Downing, Emmanuel, Gonville & Caius, Jesus, Pembroke, Peterhouse, Sidney Sussex
  • Newnham: Clare Hall, Darwin, King’s, Newnham, Queens’, Robinson, Selwyn, St Catherine’s, St John’s, Trinity, Trinity Hall, and Wolfson
  • Petersfield: Hughes Hall
  • Queen Edith’s: Homerton
  • West Chesterton: Magdalene

Cambridge City Council is currently controlled by the Labour Party, which holds 26 of the 42 seats. The Liberal Democrats are the largest opposition party with 15 councillors and there is one independent councillor.

Cambridgeshire County Council

Cambridgeshire County Council is elected every four years and provides services including road maintenance, schools, and libraries. Cambridgeshire is split up into 59 electoral divisions, 12 of which lie in Cambridge itself. Each electoral district has one county councillor to elect.

Cambridgeshire County Council is currently controlled by the Conservative Party, which has 36 of the 61 seats. There are 15 Liberal Democrat councillors, seven Labour councillors, two St Neots independent councillors, and one independent councillor.

Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

A role that has only existed since 2017, the Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough oversees a budget spent on housing and infrastructure.

A Conservative, James Palmer, is the incumbent.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

A role first introduced across the country in 2012, Police and Crime Commissioners oversee the police in 40 force areas across England and Wales. They are elected every four years. As with the election of the Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, a supplementary vote system is used which means that you will be able to indicate your first and second choices on the ballot.

Ray Bisby, a Conservative, is the currently occupies the role. He assumed the office in November 2019 after Jason Ablewhite, also a Conservative, resigned following a scandal.

Who can you vote for?

The three biggest parties competing for your vote in this year’s local elections are the Conservatives, Labour, and the Liberal Democrats. The Tab reached out to all three and asked them what they would do for students in Cambridge.

The Cambridge University Conservative Association (CUCA) declined to tell us why the Conservatives deserve your vote. However, the Cambridge Conservative’s website says that “Cambridge is sick of identity politics”, and that they are focused on preventing congestion charges and new “misguided” bus routes being built. There are at least two University students running for the Conservative Party in the elections for Cambridge City Council.

The co-chair of Cambridge University Labour Club (CULC) Jed Asemota, told The Tab: “Cambridge’s Labour council has supported climate action, new social housing and the real living wage. If you want action on important issues and an agenda to benefit us all, vote Labour on 6 May.”

Four members of CULC are standing for Labour in the Cambridge City Council elections in four different wards.

The Cambridge University Liberal Association (CULA)’s Press and Publicity Officer, Peter McLaughlin, told The Tab: “The Labour-controlled city council has failed on issues students care about; the Lib Dems offer the chance to make your voice heard by voting for a real progressive alternative.”

15 students at the University are standing for the Liberal Democrats in the Cambridge City Council elections in eight different wards.

When and where to vote?

Polling stations will be open tomorrow from 7am to 10pm. You can find out which polling station to go to by clicking here.