Main image: A giant ballot box installed at Cabot Circus to remind Bristol residents to vote. Picture Bristol City Council.
On Thursday 6 May Bristol residents will be heading to the polls to vote in four different elections – the first time this number will be held on one day.
These are for the city mayor, all 70 local councillors, regional mayor and the Police and Crime Commissioner.
Elections for the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Mayor of Bristol and local councillors were due to take place in 2020 – but were postponed due to the pandemic.
This year, the polling stations have COVID-19 safety precautions in place – including one-way systems and sanitising stations.
Voters are being asked to wear face masks, socially distance and sanitise their hands as well as bring their own pen if they can. If there are long queues people are advised to come back at a quieter time.
The polling stations will be open from 7am- 10pm and will not close for lunch.
Anyone who is self-isolating or has COVID-19 symptoms on the day should not attend but can apply for an emergency proxy vote for someone to vote on their behalf, by visiting bristol.gov.uk/proxyvoting Completed applications must reach Bristol City Council by 5pm on 6 May.
Bristol is divided into 34 voting areas called wards. Your ward and polling station will be on your poll card which you receive through the post.
For details of your polling station you can also visit: www.bristol.gov.uk/voting-elections/polling-station-finder or call 0117 922 3400.
For more information visit: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/voting-elections/local-elections-thursday-6-may-2021/information-for-voters
Mayor of Bristol
The elected Mayor of Bristol leads Bristol City Council and its services as well as representing the interests of Bristol citizens.
The Mayor chairs the council cabinet, directs the council’s strategy and sets the council budget. The Mayor’s decisions can only be overturned by a two-thirds majority of councillors.
Running for re-election this year for Labour is Marvin Rees who has held the position since 2016.
You will have two votes for first and second choice and can choose from nine candidates. They are:
- Tom Baldwin – Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
- Robert Clarke – Reform UK
- Sean Patrick Donnelly – Independent
- Caroline Gooch – Liberal Democrats
- Sandy Hore-Ruthven – Green Party
- John Langley – Independent
- Marvin Rees – Labour Party
- Oska Damon Shaw – Independent
- Alastair Watson – Conservative and Unionist Party
For more information download the official booklet for the Mayoral election: https://whocanivotefor.co.uk/static/booklets/2021-05-06/mayoral/mayor.bristol.2021-05-06.16d32c090f23.pdf
Bristol City Council
A city councillor has to represent the ward for which they are elected, they are also involved in developing and reviewing council policy and looking closely at decisions taken by the mayor and councillors at city hall.
They have regular contact with the general public through council meetings, telephone calls or surgeries.
In this election you can choose from nine candidates and will have two votes for first and second choice.
Of the two Labour councillors who have represented this ward, only Chris Jackson is re-standing for election as Jeff Lovell has stepped down.
The candidates are:
Crispin Toby John Allard – Liberal Democrats
Robin Victor Clapp – Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Zoe Goodman – Labour Party
Harriet Hansen – Green Party
Chris Jackson – Labour Party
Jojimon Kuriakose – Conservative and Unionist Party
Jackie Norman – Liberal Democrats
Barney Smith – Green Party
Sylvia Christine Windows – Conservative and Unionist Party
In the Knowle ward there are also nine candidates and you will have two votes for first and second choice.
Christopher Davies and Gary Hopkins (both Liberal Democrat) who have been representing this ward are re-standing for election.
The candidates are:
- Natasha Clarke – Green Party
- Christopher Davies – Liberal Democrats
- Brandon Rhys Gage – Labour Party
- Diane Gilpin – Conservative and Unionist Party
- Domenico William Hill – Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
- Gary Hopkins – Liberal Democrats
- Patrick David Buckingham McAllister – Green Party
- Jenny Rogers – Conservative and Unionist Party
- Michele Madeleine Tedder – Labour Party
For information about the candidates visit: https://whocanivotefor.co.uk
Mayor of West of England Combined Authority
The Mayor of the West of England – also called the ‘Metro Mayor’ – helps direct the overall strategy of Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset (BANES) and South Gloucestershire.
Working with the leaders of the three councils, the Mayor has responsibilities in areas such as transport, housing, adult education and skills.
The first Metro Mayor, Tim Bowles (Conservative) who was elected in 2017 is standing down.
You will have two votes for first and second choice from four candidates in the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) mayoral election. They are:
- Dan Norris – Labour Party
- Jerome Thomas – Green Party
- Samuel Williams – Conservative and Unionist Party
- Stephen Williams – Liberal Democrats
For more information about all the candidates download the official election information booklet (PDF).
Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset
Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) are elected to hold the police to account. They have responsibility for their police force’s finances and can appoint or dismiss the Chief Constable. Once elected, each PCC must produce a Police and Crime Plan, which sets their priorities for the force.
Since its creation in 2012, the post has been held by Sue Mountstevens who is standing down.
You will have two votes for first and second choice and can choose from five candidates in the Avon and Somerset Constabulary Police force area.
Kerry Barker – Labour Party
Cleo Lake – Green Party
Heather Shearer – Liberal Democrats
Mark Shelford – Conservative and Unionist Party
John Smith – Independent
For more information about all the elections visit: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/voting-elections/local-elections-thursday-6-may-2021