OPINION: Why doing your council election homework matters
THE 2020 council election is almost here. Well, almost.
By the end of next month we'll know who is representing us in each division, as well as who we'll have as our mayor.
It may seem like there's plenty of time to do your homework, but time has a habit of flying by quickly.
To those who know me I probably sound like a broken record, but the very best thing you can do for yourself and the region is to find out as much as you can about the candidates in your area.
Having run previously as a candidate, I can say that one of the biggest struggles is the communication between the candidate and the everyday local.
With thousands of people in every division, it can be a real challenge to get out to talk to everyone.
Even letterbox flyers can go astray.
So I'm going to put out a slightly uneasy suggestion for those heading to the booths next month - don't just do a sprint for the finish line unless you've already had a good look into who you'd like to see represent you.
All candidates work hard and have something a little different to offer.
The best thing you can do is have a quick chat, ask a few questions and weigh up your options.
It can sometimes feel like candidates haven't reached out, but logistically, for one person to reach thousands, especially without a big budget, is no easy mission.
It's your local vote for the next four years, so make it count.
And don't forget, if you need to update your Electoral Commission details you can do it HERE.