Local Elections 2006: It's time to get involved

As Local Authority Elections draw near and candidates begin tocanvas for support, the Methodist Church is encouraging people toget involved and ask their candidates the hard questions.

The elections take place in England on Thursday 4 May and 'LocalElections 2006', a new briefing from the Methodist Church,encourages voters to take an interest in what's going on.

The Church's engagement with government on social and politicalissues has always sprung from a concern for the disadvantaged insociety and this is reflected in the Questions for Candidatessection of the briefing. Suggested questions cover a wide range ofimportant issues such including council tax, recycling andchildcare.

Alison Jackson, Secretary for Parliamentary and Political Affairs,said; 'We would encourage everyone to take an interest in the LocalAuthority Elections. Local authorities have a very direct effect onour lives. It's about how our children are educated, how ourelderly are cared for, what provision is made for the homeless,whether we have enough open space.

'The Questions for Candidates section is designed to help people tobuild up a greater understanding of the issues and consider howthis might affect their lives and the life of their community. Thisbriefing gives people a starting point for thinking about where toplace their vote.'

The briefing is available online at
www.methodist.org.uk/index.cfm?fuseaction=news.content&cmid=1051,together with information about combating political extremism and arecent Methodist Church statement on the BNP front organisation'Christian Council of Britain'.