Waspi Pensioners :Time to use your vote wisely Pic credit: BBC
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The 3.9 million 50s pensioners have a great opportunity to get their views across at the local elections to be held on Thursday May 3. Elections will be held in all 32 London boroughs, 34 metropolitan boroughs, 68 district/borough councils and 17 unitary authorities. There are also elections for mayors in the London boroughs of Hackney, Lewisham, Newham, Tower Hamlets and just outside London in Watford.
Local elections are of course about local matters. However the performance of political parties at local elections is always judged by the media as a snapshot of national voting intentions. Also the attitude of local councillors towards the plight of women denied their pensions for up to six years could well be symptomatic of their attitude towards other injustice issues.
You can do this by first getting on top the House of Commons library constituency estimates of the 3.9 million people affected here.
Go to the end of the summary and download the constituency estimates ( You will need Excel on your computer).Then look up your constituency and the total number of people affected. You will find it is thousands in your constituency.
Next go onto the Wikipedia link at the end of the report and see if your council has elections. Then go on to the council’s site and chase up your ward councillors.
Challenge them to put pressure on their MP to get government policy changed so you will get your money. If they refuse vote for the nearest challenger who will.
So where are the key places where 3.9 million women can make their votes count. Here are some good examples with all the links set out for you.
In London where all the seats are up for grabs, the most obvious place to register a protest vote is Barnet. There are 18,200 women affected in the borough and the council is narrowly Conservative who oppose any change or concessions to the women.
The ruling Conservative group has a majority of one (32 Conservative, 30 Labour and one Liberal Democrat) in 2014. You can check the result for the ward you live here.
Another is the London borough of Hillingdon where there are 16,100 women affected and it is represented by two high profile MPs, Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, and John McDonnell, Labour’s shadow chancellor. The current council has 42 Conservatives and 23 Labour. You can get a ward breakdown here.
And for a different slant the Royal London borough of Kingston has 12,000 women affected (though some are in Richmond) and a council with 28 Conservatives, 18 Liberal Democrats and 2 Labour councillors – a Conservative majority of eight. You can check your ward here.
Some of you may find yourself in Richmond as Tory Zac Goldsmith’s Richmond Park constituency straddles both boroughs.
Conservatives have a bigger majority in Wandsworth with 41 seats topping Labour’s 19 and there are 11,900 women affected living there. You can find your ward here.
A longer shot is the London Borough of Bexley which has 45 Conservative,15 Labour and three UKIP councillors. But it has 15,200 women affected. A run down on your local ward councillors is here.
.Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire is currently not under any party control. It has 25 Labour councillors, 18 Conservatives, 13 Liberal Democrats and one UKIP councillor. One third of the council is up for election. There are 14,400 women affected in the borough. So it will provide an ideal opportunity to put all the parties on the spot. You can check your ward here.
Calderdale also has a third of the council up for election. The council which covers Halifax and the surrounding area has 12,900 women affected. The council is also not under any party control. The council has 23 Labour members, 21 Conservatives , 5 Liberal Democrats and two Independents. You can find your ward here.
The full list of councils where elections are being held is here.
They include big cities like Manchester, Birmingham, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle upon Tyne as well as smaller places like Hastings, Gosport, Portsmouth, South Lakeland, Maidstone, Huntingdon and West Lancashire.