Voting in elections is a fundamental part of our democracy.

It is not just the act of putting a cross in a box, but is the mechanism by which people dictate the future of laws and services which play a huge role in their daily lives.

The act of voting is something many of us take for granted these days, but we must never forget that it is a hard fought right won through the tireless campaigning of generations before us.

It wasn’t that long ago, that the right to vote was limited to an exclusive group of property owning men.

Social movements such as the Chartists, paved the way for change to move further and faster, but came up against an ever more resistant establishment.

They were later joined by Manchester’s own Emmeline Pankhurst and the Suffragette movement who won women the right to vote in 1918 (although this didn’t become universal and equal to men until 1928.)

This is history that might seem from the distant past, but it underlines how hard fought our right to vote is.

The local elections coming up on May 2nd are vitally important ones.

Despite often having lower turnout, local government can have a much more tangible impact on our day to day lives than national government sitting in Westminster.

Key services such as the management of our roads, waste disposal, children’s services, adult social care, planning, public transport and much more asides, are all led at a local level.

Electing your Tameside councillors, and the Mayor of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, will have a real impact on the direction of these services in the year ahead, so it’s really important you have your say.

The deadline to register to vote in these elections, if you haven’t already, is Tuesday 16 April, with registration freely available on Tameside Council’s website.

You are also able to vote by post or proxy, if you are unable to make it to the polling station on election day.

If you do vote in person, remember that you now require photo ID to do so, with free photo ID available to those who do not have any access to accepted forms such as passports and driving licenses.

Whichever way you vote, and however you do it, make sure you exercise that right on May 2nd and have your say on the future of our local community.

Constituency Office Address

Town Hall, Market Street, Denton, M34 2AP

Parliamentary Office Address

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA