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East Midlands Mayoral Election: How to vote, who’s running and what it means for you

Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire voters will go to the polls in a historic election in May to choose the first-ever East Midlands Mayor.

The £1.14bn devolution deal for the region will move some powers from Westminster to an elected leader for the two counties, which have a combined population of 1.6 million people.

The Mayor

The mayor will have the authority to make more major decisions locally, similar to West Midlands mayor Andy Street or Greater Manchester’s Andy Burnham.

As part of the role, a joint council called the East Midlands Combined Authority has been created, although major local authorities including the city and county councils will continue.

The election race is already underway, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visiting the area last week to support the Conservative candidate.

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‘A big deal in every sense’

Mark Rogers, interim Chief Executive of the East Midlands Combined County Authority (EMCCA) said: “This is a big deal in every sense. It’s on a scale that the East Midlands hasn’t seen before, and gives it the powers and resources it needs to turn round under-investment, tackle challenges and open up massive new opportunities for people and places.

“This is all about bringing power back to the East Midlands, and the most significant part of that process is the vote – the people will decide who’ll lead this transformation.”

Who is running to be East Midlands Mayor?

In alphabetical order, the current candidates are:

  • Frank Adlington-Stringer (Green)
  • Ben Bradley (Conservative)
  • Alan Graves (Reform)
  • Matt Relf (Independent)
  • Clare Ward (Labour)

This list is still not definitive, as other candidates have until April 5 to throw their name into the ring.

What powers will the mayor have?

The combined authority will receive £38m annually for 30 years and have greater controls over how money is spent on education, housing and the environment.

The devolution deal promises to tackle under-investment in the East Midlands and reclaim powers from Westminster.

The mayor will also take a leading role in transport, with the government promising an additional £1.5b of funding.

When is election day?

Voters will go to the polls on Thursday, May 2 between 7am and 10pm.

The results will likely be tallied overnight and announced some time on Friday, May 3.

Voters will be asked to show photographic ID at polling stations, such as a passport, driving license, blue badge or an Older Person’s Bus Pass.

If you don’t have this, you can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate by Wednesday, April 24.

You can only vote if your name is on the Register of Electors. You may need to update this if you have never voted before, moved house or changed your name since the last election.

This can be done online before Tuesday, April 16.

How can I vote?

The most common way to vote is in person at your local polling station, however this isn’t possible for everyone due to health reasons, disabilities or other commitments.

You can apply for a postal vote online or by filling in an application form. You will need to do this before Wednesday, April 17 to ensure it is processed in time for the May elections.

You can also designate someone as a proxy to vote on your behalf. Online applications will need to be made by Wednesday, April 24, and your proxy will still need to bring ID.

Has there ever been an election across both counties before?

This is the first election to cover the electorate of both Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, making it uniquely difficult to predict.

Control of the four major councils across the area is currently split between different parties.

Conservatives currently have a majority of seats on both Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire County Councils.

Nottingham City Council is Labour controlled, while no party has overall control of Derby City Council, which has a Labour leader.

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