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Everything you need to know before casting your vote in West Suffolk, Mid Suffolk and Babergh council elections

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Voters across Suffolk will take to the polls today for the 2019 local elections – with new councils and new wards meaning there is plenty at stake for candidates and political parties.

The polls are open from 7am today and close at 10pm, before votes are counted overnight or during the day tomorrow.

This year there is no Suffolk County Council election or General Election for MPs, but all of the county’s district and borough councils will be involved in the polls.

Polling day for the local elections is nextv Thursday May 2 (9474402)
Polling day for the local elections is nextv Thursday May 2 (9474402)

That means the councils you are voting on are responsible for things like waste collection, housing and planning applications, leisure, street cleanliness and licensing of taxis, bars and restaurants.

Ipswich Borough Council is electing a third of its council – 16 seats – although the political make-up of the authority means that Labour cannot lose its majority.

Its count will be happening overnight tonight and into the early hours of the morning.

Babergh and Mid Suffolk district councils will have their counts at Wherstead Park on Friday morning, but changes to the ward boundaries mean there are fewer seats available – Babergh now has 11 fewer with 32, while Mid Suffolk will have 34 – down by six.

For more on what the main parties are offering in Mid Suffolk, click this link.

Both have Conservative administrations currently, but with all seats being contested at both there is no foregone conclusion for what party, if any, will emerge with a majority.

The new East Suffolk Council will have its first ever election – one of two new ‘super-districts’ made up of the former Waveney and Suffolk Coastal councils.

There are 55 seats there – well down on the 90 elected under the two previous authorities, and while both had Tory administrations until ceasing to exist on April 1, a strong Labour contingent in the north could be key.

It’s a similar picture at the new West Suffolk Council – effectively a merger of St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath councils – where 64 councillors will be elected, but the Conservatives head into that contest with eight seats already secure thanks to no opposition candidates coming forward.

For more on whether Conservatives will keep control of West Suffolk Council, click this link.

Both East and West will count on Friday, but who will lead each council and the new cabinets will not be known until later this month.