This Thursday voters in Redruth South and across the rest of Cornwall will make a choice about who their Cornwall Councillor will be for the next four years.
The men and women elected to represent us on the Council will have to make some difficult decisions and use their judgement on matters affecting us. These range from planning (at a strategic and a local level), Cornwall's environment, how our waste is collected and disposed of, funding for social care and health services, community safety and the fire & rescue services, safety and well being of vulnerable children and adults, levels of Council Tax to name but a few.
It takes a very special sort of person to even want to take on this sort of responsibility and I applaud our three candidates in Redruth South, Ian Thomas (Independent), Will Tremayne (Labour) and Ray Wyse (UKIP) for being bold enough and community minded enough to stand.
This time next week we will hopefully know which of these three has been elected to serve as our Cornwall Councillor for Redruth South.
Whilst I'm interested in local politics (yes I'm a nerd!), clearly not everyone feels the same way. The turn out at local elections tends to be persistently low, often around 25% nationally and the recent elections of the Police and Crime Commissioner were much lower than that. Cornwall Council elections for Redruth South in 2009 bucked that trend with turn out at 39%, which by any standards is pretty good for a Council election.
I truly hope that we see a strong turn out again on Thursday. It will be interesting to see whether the absence of candidates in this Division from some of the main parties has an impact on whether people choose to vote or not. Of course other factors including the weather also play their part on polling day as well.
I was particularly struck by Rev. Simon Cade's regular column in this week's "West Briton" newspaper entitled "God in the 21st century". Rev. Cade of course is a well known figure in Redruth and someone who many voters will be familiar with. Simon sets out why he believes that there is a clear link between Christian compassion for our neighbour and voting in elections. He reminds us that Jesus never had the opportunity to vote because he lived in ancient Judea which was under Roman rule; a military dictatorship. Of course the same is true for many people across the world today. His piece finishes with the words "Vote, for Jesus Christ's sake, vote". As soon as I find one, I'll post a link up to take your straight to the full article.
So please vote, and please urge your eligable friends, family members and neighbours to vote.