Residents in Lincoln will go to the polls on Thursday, May 3 to elect their local councillors.
Across the country, 150 councils will be up for election this year – including a potentially tight race in North East Lincolnshire – as well as some mayoral elections.
City of Lincoln Council is currently Labour dominated, with 26 of the 33 councillors from the party, alongside six Conservatives and one Independent.
The election could be viewed by some as being slightly anti-climatic, as even if Labour loses all nine of the seats it is defending next month, it will still retain overall control of the council.
However, the party will be looking to defend its seats, while targeting the Hartsholme seat currently held by former Mayor of Lincoln, Councillor Andrew Kerry.
A Labour candidate finished just 20 votes behind Councillor Kerry at the 2016 election.
The Conservatives will be aiming to defend the Hartsholme seat, while making gains in Birchwood where they were just three votes off Labour Councillor Paul Gowen two years ago, and in Witham, a ward where they already have two councillors.
Both main parties will be targeting the Minster ward currently held by Independent Councillor Liz Maxwell.
Councillor Maxwell was elected as a Labour candidate in the 2016 city council election, but quit the party just six months later because of what she described as “unresolvable personal issues and disagreements with influential individuals within the Lincoln Constituency Labour Party”.
Both Labour and Conservative candidates were within 100 votes of Councillor Maxwell at the last election.
For parties such as the Liberal Democrats, Greens and UKIP, any candidate elected to City Hall would be seen as a successful evening, and would come as a surprise to most observers.
The election takes place with councils across the country still coming to terms with significant reductions in central government funding.
City of Lincoln Council has over recent years attempted to develop a more commercial approach, as have some neighbouring authorities, to generate more income and minimise the impact of the funding cuts.
In March, the city council announced it had bought the Travelodge building currently under construction on Tentercroft Street for £13 million.
One week later, it was revealed that the council had also purchased two NCP car parks in the city at a cost of £6.6 million.
Over recent months, the council’s flagship Lincoln Transport Hub, featuring a new city centre bus station and multi-storey car park, opened to the public.
This work ties in with the Lincolnshire Co-op redevelopment of the Cornhill Quarter, which will see more shops, restaurants and a boutique cinema in the Sincil Street area of the city over the next few years.
The council is also looking to modernise City Square to complete the redevelopment of that area of Lincoln.
Other ambitions revealed at the Lincoln Growth Conference held last month include building 400 new council homes by 2020, pressing ahead with the Western Growth Corridor, and regenerating Sincil Bank by improving the quality of housing.
When is the election?
The local elections will be held on Thursday, May 3, with polling booths open from 7am until 10pm.
Following the polls closing, the count will take place at the Lincoln Drill Hall on Free School Lane.
Register to vote
Members of the public have until April 17 to register to vote in order to take part in the upcoming election.
There is also the option to vote via proxy or by post.
Once you have registered, you will be sent a polling card which confirms your right to vote and your polling station.
The list of polling stations for the upcoming election can be found on the council’s website.
Who is standing?
There will be an election for one councillor in 11 wards in Lincoln.
Nominations of candidates for each ward will be published on Monday, April 9.
How do local elections in Lincoln work?
In 2016, all 33 seats on City of Lincoln Council were contested due to boundary changes.
From this year onwards, the council will return to elections three in every four years.
The councillors up for re-election in 2018 are the ones who received the third most votes in their wards in 2016.