Express & Star

Comment: 'We have a civic duty to use our vote'

Residents in the West Midlands may well decide our next Prime Minister.


Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276

Whether they do that during the local, PCC and Mayoral elections, or during the General Election, remains to be seen.

The future of Rishi Sunak may be reliant on how the nation votes. There are key battlegrounds – one of them in Tory-run Dudley where the whole council is up for re-election.

It is a key battleground, an area that was once staunchly Labour but was swayed by the promise of Boris Johnson.

The West Midlands Mayoral race between Andy Street and Richard Parker is also expected to be a close-run thing and that, more than any other race, may well decide the fate of Mr Sunak. He knows he’s in for a troubling night, where he’s likely to lose half the seats up for election.

There are two contests, however, that would be game-changers; the Mayoral votes in Teeside and here in the West Midlands. If he loses those, the charge of Tory rivals may well come sooner rather than later and the nation might see yet another Prime Minister, before the forthcoming General Election.

It has been interesting to see Andy Street vote on a platform that largely disavows the work of our Prime Minister. He has been at pains to avoid links with Westminster – and who can blame him?

We have been through a turbulent time in our national politics and the public are largely fed up of national leaders. They want integrity and ethics, rather than infighting and psychodrama, and a change may well be coming.

Such issues at a local level matter to us. Whether we need local champions who campaign on behalf of community centres or get our pot-holed roads filled, or whether councillors support sports provision or help with social care – local officials matter.

There may be a temptation in Shropshire, where there are no local council elections, to stay at home as the police and crime commissioner poll takes place. But even this will have implications for how the county’s police force is run.

The message, then, is that it is important to vote and to have your say. It is up to you whether you vote on national issues or local ones, but using your democratic right is important.

British politics generally may be in a bit of a mess at the moment, but at least we are free to vote in free elections and for that we should be thankful.

We have only to look at other parts of mainland Europe, which does not enjoy such freedoms, to realise how bad things could be. We have a civic duty to use our vote.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.