THE countdown for Oxfordshire’s elections is now officially under way.
Yesterday marked the deadline by which potential candidates could put their names forward for election to three of the county’s district councils.
And European elections are also taking place, with nominees from 15 parties looking to do well across the South East.
It means residents now know who they can vote for in the elections on May 22.
Bob Price, the leader of Oxford City Council, said: “Elections give you a chance to think about what is important and recalibrate your policies. The key thing for people in Oxford is how the city develops, that is a very important question.
“Then there are quite local things such as leisure services and playgrounds which are very important issues for many people.”
Voters in all of Oxford’s 24 wards will be able to vote next month as the city council elects half its 48 councillors every two years – though in Summertown voters will elect two councillors following the resignation of Lib Dem Stuart McCready.
In Cherwell and West Oxfordshire only a third of the seats are up for election, meaning not everyone in the districts will get to elect a councillor, but they will be able to vote in the European elections.
In West Oxfordshire there are a total of 66 candidates across the 17 wards – while in the European election there are 118 hopefuls.
Oxfordshire is part of the South East constituency which elects 10 MEPs to the European Parliament by the proportional party list system, so voters choose a list of candidates rather than an individual.
Barry Norton, the leader of West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “I sincerely hope that people will be thinking about local issues, how the council is run and the levels of council tax when they vote. People seem pretty good at voting on local issues and I am hoping they will continue to do that, whatever they do in the European elections.”
People eligible to do so have until May 6 to register to vote.
Oxford City Council said it would release its list of candidates today, while last night Cherwell District Council said it would be released later that evening.
Barry Wood, leader of Cherwell District Council, had not commented at the time of going to press.
For a full list of candidates in both elections visit www.oxfordmail.co.uk
Wards up for election
Barton and Sandhills, Blackbird Leys, Carfax, Churchill, Cowley, Cowley Marsh, Headington,
Headington Hill and Northway, Hinksey Park, Holywell, Iffley Fields, Jericho and Osney,
Littlemore, Lye Valley, Marston, North, Northfield Brook, Quarry and Risinghurst, Rose Hill and Iffley, St Clement’s, St Mary’s, St Margaret’s, Summertown,
Ascott and Shipton, Bampton and Clanfield, Brize Norton and Shilton, Burford, Carterton North East, Carterton North West, Carterton South, Chipping Norton, Ducklington, Eynsham and Cassington, Freeland and Hanborough, Standlake, Aston and Stanton Harcourt, Stonesfield and Tackley, The Bartons, Witney East, Witney South, Woodstock and Bladon
Banbury Calthorpe, Banbury Easington, Banbury Grimsbury and Castle, Banbury Hardwick,
Banbury Neithrop, Banbury Ruscot, Bicester West, Bloxham and Bodicote, Deddington,
Fringford, Kidlington North, Kidlington South, Kirtlington, Otmoor, Sibford, The Ashtons
and Heyfords, Wroxton