UK Parliament and your right to vote.

Voting in the UK has been fought for (sometimes quite literally) over the past 150 years and beyond. It is an entitlement that should not be taken lightly but used wisely. It was only 87 years ago that everyone over the age of 21 was allowed to vote.

Historical facts on your vote:

  • Just 46 years ago In 1969 all 18 yr olds given vote
  • 87 years ago in 1928 all men and women over 21 given vote
  • In 1918 women over 30 and all men over 21 given vote
  • In 1884 only 60% men and no women could vote.
  • In 1780 less than 3% of population could vote.

(For more information lookup UK Reform Acts – Google, Bing etc.)

Different party’s have different views on how the Country should be run and the political spectrum goes from Fascism (dictatorship) on the far right to Communism (everybody equal – though not, in reality) on the far left. Traditionally Conservatives are to the right, Labour to left, LibDem in centre with a leaning to left. Greens left of of Labour, UKIP right of Conservatives (all open to conjecture). Check your political compass, also factored in is Authoritarian and Libertarian.

It is impossible to agree with any party’s (or person if you favour an Independent candidate) policies, or manifestos, but it is advisable to pick the one that best matches your thoughts and feelings.

Your vote is for one person, to represent your views (or some of them) and their party’s in parliament and should be for the best person on offer to do that. That person may be swayed by their party’s manifesto though.

Many constituencies are won by just a few votes, so the thought that a vote doesn’t count is actually wrong.

Many people disagree with their MP (Party, or person), if you don’t vote, how is that going to change? not voting is actually voting for a person, or party you don’t like as you are not voting against them. Under first past the post the person with most votes wins the seat. Elections are the chance for you to have your say.

Some think that they won’t vote as it doesn’t affect them. The Government decide on the laws of the land, the budget and taxes we live by. It affects all of us.

Don’t waste your vote, use it wisely…

There are so many elections, understanding who does what etc. seems complicated…?

General Election: selecting Member of UK Parliament

County Council: Education, Social services, Highway Maintenance, Waste disposal, Emergency planning, Consumer protection, Town and country planning (to do with minerals, waste, highways and education).

District Council: Housing, Planning Application, Leisure and Recreation, Waste collection, Environmental health, Revenue collection.

Town Council (or Parish): Buildings and Civic matters, Grounds and General Maintenance, Planning and Licensing, Policy Resource and Finance, Promotions and Activities.

From Yeovil Town Council website:

Buildings and Civic Matters

Management of recreational and leisure facilities including a number of community halls and the redevelopment of an artificial ski slope. The Committee also manages the award-winning public toilets in Peter Street, and oversees a variety of community safety initiatives, traffic regulation, traffic calming and the management, repair and maintenance of The Town House.

Grounds and General Maintenance

Management of most of the open spaces and play areas in the Town and the management of over 300 allotment plots on a number of sites owned by the Town Council. The Committee also keeps a watching brief over the Sunningdale Doorstep Green and Yeovil Cemetery, of which the Town Council is principal owner.

Planning and Licensing

Consideration of all planning applications within the Town area. Responsibility for the licensing of taxis, private hire vehicles and their drivers, street trading, street canvassing, busking and charitable collections.

Policy, Resources and Finance
Dealing with matters concerning policy, resources and general finance decisions on behalf of the Town Council. Determines applications for grants from local groups and organisations, oversees personnel issues and generally advises the Town Council on corporate matters.

Promotions and Activities

Overseeing the delivery of a variety of related activities, initiatives and events directly and in partnership with other stakeholders in the Town, including Yeovil in Bloom, the Annual Flower and Gardeners’ Market, the Yeovil Town Centre Partnership, the Town Centre Streetscene, and the Christmas lights display. The Committee also has responsibility for the publication of the Town Guide and other promotional literature, customised souvenirs, and the Town Crier.

I hope this helps to clarify things for you.


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