Wigan voters set to head to polls in May

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Residents in the borough should be taking part in a bumper set of elections this year.

Although the situation with Covid-19 poses challenges to election officials, work is currently taking place to ensure they are able to go ahead.

The most high-profile local election race will see Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham attempt to win a second term as the city-region’s first citizen.

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Councillors in Wigan who were supposed to be up for re-election last year will also be facing the voters after the 2020 local elections were postponed until this May.

There is a bumper set of elections slated to take place across the country in MayThere is a bumper set of elections slated to take place across the country in May
There is a bumper set of elections slated to take place across the country in May

Those whose term in the council chamber was due to come to an end this May are likely to have their stints in politics extended and to face re-election at a later date.

The only ward where more than one representative will be decided is Orrell as Conservative representative Richard Clayton died last year.

Several high-profile members are up for re-election and there are a number of races which stand out as ones to watch.

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The Conservatives will be looking to hold on to the seat James Grundy has held in Lowton East after he sensationally became the MP for Leigh at the general election in December 2019.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham will be seeking re-electionGreater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham will be seeking re-election
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham will be seeking re-election

The leader of the opposition, Coun Michael Winstanley, is also up for re-election for the blue rosette in Orrell ward.

Wigan Council leader Coun David Molyneux also faces the voters in his Ince ward, as does cabinet member Coun Terry Halliwell in Wigan West.

Among the opposition ranks long-standing Hindley Green Independent Coun Bob Brierley is seeking his fifth term, while Coun Steve Jones, also an independent, is up for re-election in Bryn.

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The elections are scheduled for May 6 and all the stops are being pulled out to ensure voters can have their democratic say.

A Government spokesperson said: “Legislation provides that the elections will go ahead in May 2021. We continue to work closely with the electoral community and public health bodies to resolve challenges and ensure everyone will be able to cast their vote safely and securely - and in a way of their choosing. Measures are planned to support absent voting at short notice.

“Guidance will be published in good time ahead of the polls and this matter will be kept under review.”

A spokesperson for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority returning officer said: “GMCA and local government partners are engaging with Government to discuss the delivery of May’s elections. We are awaiting further guidance from Government.”

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May 6 is being dubbed “Super Thursday” as voters get their first chance to give a verdict on the handling of Covid-19 and Brexit.

Voters across the country will be taking part in local council elections, picking regional mayors and electing devolved parliaments.

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