As you may or may not be aware, the local council elections take place on the 4th May, and so all the various candidates are sticking leaflets through doors, and our postal voting forms have turned up. There is a couple of things I'd like to mention.

Local elections are just that, electing a representative for your local ward (why is it called a ward?) to get improvements for your area. So not to be too fussy, but shouldn't the candidate at least live in the ward they represent so they can see and be involved in the day to day issues the residents face? I think so, so the Conservatives and Lib Dems have shot themselves in the foot from the off, they're going to need some bloody good propaganda for what they're going to do in my ward to make me vote for them now.

The second thing to note was a candidate for the BNP party. This worries me slightly, one, that he lives a few streets away from us, and two that our ward has got a BNP candidate, meaning the BNP at least think they could get a few votes from us. Again though, this candidate, apart from the fact he represents the BNP, shot himself in the foot with his leaflet, which focused completely on national issues, the only local issue being vote for them to help them stop Barnsley becoming like Leeds and Sheffield! I'm assuming they meant this in a purely racial sense (they cleverly didn't say that), because otherwise I think Barnsley could really benefit from an economic boom and redevelopment! But Barnsley is still not local enough, we're talking about a representative for a ward, not a town, they are blatantly treating this like a general election and just trying to get party votes.

That leaves Labour and an independent candidate on my ballot form. Both of these tick the boxes for living in the ward and having local issues on their propaganda, so I'm going to decide between them.

I'm not often overtly political, but hopefully this post might make you look at your ballot paper a little closer to see where candidates live, and that the issues they say they are going to address are local. I'm interested in what criteria you think are important in a local election, and if you've got a BNP candidate or not, so comment away, whether you agree with me or not!