This Thursday, May 2nd, people will go to the polls right across the country to vote in a range of different local elections.

Here in Tameside, we have two elections happening.

Firstly, are the elections to Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council, where a third of seats (one in each council ward) are up for election.

Secondly, is the Greater Manchester Mayoral election, with the Mayor leading the Greater Manchester Combined Authority which covers all 11 Manchester boroughs, including us here in Tameside.

Historically, local elections have often had a lower turnout than general elections to the Parliament in Westminster.

But for many people it is the issues that are devolved down to local authorities that have the greatest impact on their day to day lives.

The roads we drive on, the streets we live in, the schools our children attend, the social care services that look after our loved ones, the public transport that gets us from A to B.

There are so many areas of our lives where the decisions taken by local authorities make a material difference.

Here in Greater Manchester, we can see just how direct a difference that can be.

It is only because of the powers devolved to the Greater Manchester mayoralty that we have seen radical change in our public transport system, with busses brought back under public control after nearly four decades of de-regulation.

Whatever your perspective on big policy shifts like this, only by voting in local elections can you make your voice heard.

What you need to do to vote has changed recently, so it’s important to be aware and not get caught out.

For all elections going forward, including those this Thursday, you will need to take photographic ID with you to the polling station in order to vote.

This can be a passport, driving license, or various other forms of pass, a full list is available on the government website.

If you are a postal voter, and haven’t already posted your vote, you can take it to your local polling station on polling day and hand it in.

So whatever way you cast your vote, and whoever you cast it for, make sure you make your voice heard on the issues that impact you and your community this Thursday.

Constituency Office Address

Town Hall, Market Street, Denton, M34 2AP

Parliamentary Office Address

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA