LIKE many other people across the town, I received an email last week from the elections team at Warrington Council that outlined my options for voting in the elections in May.

I’m happy to see these polls are actually going ahead after being delayed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

I had heard a rumour from a number of sources that they may have been pushed back until autumn or maybe even until next year, but I think it’s really important for local democracy that they go ahead.

While local elections are not the most exciting events in the world, I think it’s really important the people of Warrington engage with them, especially this year.

And what have we got to look forward to? Well, for a start, the entire borough council is up for election.

So are parish councils and just to put the cherry on top of the cake, this is our four-yearly chance to elect a police and crime commissioner for Cheshire.

Regular readers of this column will be well aware that the current PCC is none other than Warrington’s own David Keane, who is also a borough councillor and parish councillor in Penketh.

But this year’s elections are not going to be like any before, thanks to the pandemic.

As it stands at the moment, polling stations are going to be open on the day – although this could be subject to change. The council says arrangements are being put in place to help people stay safe at the polling station and you can expect many of the measures you’ve become used to in shops and banks over recent months, such as hand sanitiser, face masks and social distancing.

But voters are also entitled to a postal vote and if you are in the slightest bit concerned about physically going into a polling booth (which I am), this is the option I would urge you all to take.

So here’s my public service announcement: If you have been emailed by the council’s election team, a postal vote application form will have been attached for you to download and print off. You can also go to the council’s website – – and download the form from there.

If you haven’t got access to a printer, you can contact electoral services on 01925 442184 or email at and they’ll send you an application form.

Why does this matter? I have a clearly defined view on this.

If you don’t take part in elections, I believe you forfeit the right to complain about what the council does or doesn’t do in your name or what it spends your money on.

Anyone who spends any time on social media will be well aware of the moaning keyboard warriors who seem to do nothing but harp on about councils, both local and parish.

If you are that unhappy, this is your chance to actually do something about it.

As it stands, Warrington Council is heavily Labour controlled. Labour has 43 seats; Liberal Democrats 11; Independents 3; and Conservatives 1.

But I hear on the grapevine (well various social media groups) that there’s something of an underground movement going on in parts of the town to elect more independent councillors come May’s elections.

Now you may like the idea of adding fresh voices that are unfettered by party political ideology or on the other hand, you may think that electing dilettante wannabes to the political mix is a recipe for disaster.

Either way, it’s up to you, the voter to make that decision.

And if you think your vote is unlikely to be effective, think again. It took just 784 votes to elect independent Geoff Fellows to the borough council in the Penketh and Cuerdley ward while Anna Fradgley took a seat representing Lymm South with just 769 votes.

On a completely different topic, I see there’s a call from a bloke in Widnes to preserve the Fiddlers Ferry power station cooling towers by giving them listed building status.

Jog on, mate. They are an eyesore, a blot on the landscape and the sooner they are demolished the better.