Wakefield local council election 2021: who are the candidates standing in my area and who should I vote for?

The election is just around the corner, and candidates across Wakefield and the Five Towns are making one final push for votes before the polls open. This is everything you need to know about the local elections in Wakefield, Pontefract and Castleford - and who is standing in your neighbourhood.

Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 5:29 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 12:42 pm
The election is just around the corner, and candidates across Wakefield and the Five Towns are making one final push for votes before the polls open. Pictured are votes being counted at Thornes Park Stadium - the process is likely to look a little different this year.

The local elections take place across England and Wales on Thursday, May 6.

But how do the elections work and why is your vote important? Here's a quick explainer with answers to some of the big questions.

What is the political makeup of Wakefield Council?

The Wakefield district is divided into 21 geographical zones, or wards. Each ward has three councillors representing it. They sit on Wakefield Council and lobby on your behalf, raising local issues affecting their constituents.

The council has 63 seats in total and whichever party has control of more than half of them runs the local authority.

As the current ruling party Labour holds 47 of those seats, the Conservatives have 11, the Liberal Democrats have one and another is held by an independent councillor with no party political connections.

The remaining three seats are currently vacant.

What and who am I voting for this year?

Only a third of the council's seats are generally contested at any one time.

This year, voters are deciding on 22 of the council's 63 seats. That's one in each ward, apart from Airedale and Ferry Fryston where voters will be asked to elect two councillors and so the main parties standing there have put up two candidates each.

You can see a full list of the candidates standing in your area below.

Councillors who are elected this year will hold their seat for three years until 2024, with the exception of one candidate in ward 2, who will fill the vacant seat for two years.

What are the main issues?

Voting in the local elections gives you the chance to influence how local services are run and how the council spends your money on things like schools, roads, social care for the elderly, libraries, leisure centres and bin rounds, to name but a few.

To be clear, and sorry if this is stating the obvious, but it's not a General Election and you are not voting for your local MP.

Are any other elections taking place on the same day?

Yes, this year's polls are being combined with the elections held for the first ever West Yorkshire mayor, who will have devolved regional powers over things like transport and job creation.

Whoever the new mayor is, they will also be taking on the duties previously held by West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, with the two offices being merged.

Meanwhile in Hemsworth, Walton and Upton, voters will also be electing representatives to serve on their town and parish councils.

Click here to find out who's standing to be West Yorkshire metro mayor.

Who is standing in my area?

The names of all the candidates standing for election in Wakefield were released earlier this month.

You can view the full list below, and find out which ward you live in on the Wakefield Council website.

One seat is being contested in each ward, unless otherwise stated.

Ackworth, North Elmsall and Upton - Ward 1

Stan Bates - LabourChristopher Dawson - Yorkshire Party

Jody Gabriel - Green PartyChristopher Howden - Liberal Democrats

Gwen Marshall - Independent

Raymond Massey - ConservativeAiredale and Ferry Fryston - Ward 2 (two candidates to be elected)

Richard Evans - Conservative

Jackie Ferguson - Labour

John Ingham - Green Party

Ian Kennedy - Independent

Neil Kennedy - Independent

Eamonn Mullins - Conservative

Daniel Russell - Green Party

Les Shaw - Labour

Altofts and Whitwood - Ward 3

Brenden Beckett - Green Party

Zane Carpenter - Workers Party of BritainJosie Farrar - Labour

Anthony Hill - Conservative

John Thomas - Reform UKCastleford Central and Glasshoughton - Ward 4

Richard Forster - Labour

Alan Horne - Green Party

Paul Phelps - Yorkshire Party

Joanne Smart - Conservative

Crofton, Ryhill and Walton - Ward 5

Cynthia Dickinson - Green Party

Faith Heptinstall - Labour

Paul Stockhill - Conservative

Featherstone - Ward 6

James Craven - Yorkshire Party

Nigel Ebbs - Liberal Democrats

Ruth Love - Green Party

Ayrton Pointon - Conservative

Maureen Tennant-King - Labour

Hemsworth - Ward 7

Waj Ali - Reform UK

Jim Kenyon - IndependentPauline Kitching - Labour

Lyn Morton - Green Party

David Pointon - Conservative

Horbury and South Ossett - Ward 8

Jonathan Allum - Conservative

Darren Byford - Labour

Mark Goodair - Liberal Democrats

Ricard Hargreaves - Green Party

Knottingley - Ward 9

Kerron Cross - Labour

Adele Hayes - Liberal Democrats

Garry Newby - Green Party

Hilary Plumbley - Conservative

Normanton - Ward 10

Gillian Dewey-Nager - Green Party

Susan Hayes - Liberal Democrats

Keith Hudson - Conservative Party

Julie Medford - Labour

Cliff Parsons - Alliance for Democracy and Freedom Wakefield

Marcus Whalley-Reid - Workers Party of Britain

Ossett - Ward 11

Tony Homewood - Conservative

Lynn Masterman - Labour

Malcolm Pollack - Liberal Democrats

Stephen Scott - Green Party

Pontefract North - Ward 12

Christopher Hyomes - Conservative

Ryan Kett - Yorkshire Party

Lorna Malkin - Labour

Emma Tingle - Green Party

Pontefract South - Ward 13

Katherine Dodd - Green Party

Tony Hames - Conservative

Melanie Jones - Labour

Trevor Peasant - Yorkshire Party

South Elmsall and South Kirkby - Ward 14

Michelle Collins - Labour

Stefan Ludewig - Green Party

Sarah Mansfield - Yorkshire Party

Chad Thomas - Conservative

Stanley and Outwood East - Ward 15

Richard Copeland - Green Party

Margaret Dodd - Liberal Democrats

Stephanie Fishwick - Conservative

Brent Hawksley - Yorkshire Party

Matthew Morley - Labour

Wakefield East - Ward 16

Akef Akbar - Conservative

Helen Antcliff - Labour

Mick Griffiths - Trade Union and Socialist CoalitionJanet Mackintosh - Green Party

Wakefield North - Ward 17

Lewis Elliott - Green Party

Naeem Formuli - Conservative

Andy Mack - Yorkshire Party

Rebecca Murphy - Independent

Elizabeth Rhodes - Labour

Keith Wells - UKIPWakefield Rural - Ward 18

Cynthia Binns - Conservative

Charlotte Myles - Green Party

Paul Wood - Labour

Wakefield South - Ward 19

Paul Belbin - Labour

Daniel Cochran - Yorkshire Party

Krys Holmes - Green Party

Richard Hunt - Conservative

Wakefield West - Ward 20

Hilary Mitchell - Labour

Karen Sadler - Green Party

Josie Thornton - For Britain Movement

Laura Weldon - Conservative

Wrenthorpe and Outwood West - Ward 21

Richard Bentley - Yorkshire Party

David Dews - UKIP

Annemarie Glover - Conservative

Martyn Johnson - Labour

Oliver Thompson - Green Party

Local Democracy Reporting Service