ON THURSDAY, May 4 thousands of voters across the Vale will be heading to the polls in elections which will decide the make-up of Worcestershire County Council for the next four years.
Every division, 52 in total, will be up for election with candidates vying for your votes.
Our reporter Joshua Godfrey has spoken the candidates in the Harvington division about their campaign promises and why you should put a cross in the box next to their name.
Anthony Hopkins – Conservative
“I am passionate about the local area and hope to get the chance to represent the people of Harvington division.
“I will seek to understand local concerns and issues and have already attended a number of Parish Council meetings and spoken to local residents across the division to hear what matters to them.
“My aims for the division are; to ensure that our roads and pavements receive a fair share of highways funding, support efforts to ease traffic congestion and speeding in the division, seek to improve access and availability to rural broadband and give support to local community projects and the most vulnerable in our communities.”
John Gowers – Labour Party
“Recently retired from a busy life running a variety of small businesses, I now divide my time between family, hobbies and working for a fairer society.
“I believe my years in business have given me both an insight into human nature as well as the skills needed to get things done, whilst maintaining an ethical perspective.
“I have a practical, can do, approach to problems and believe the best solutions are found from working with others, sharing ideas and coming together to overcome obstacles.
“If elected, I look forward to working alongside local residents to tackle the concerns you have and help bring your ideas for a fairer, more cohesive and successful, community to fruition.”
Jack Parsons – Liberal Democrats
“I am the third generation of a North Worcestershire farming family.
“I have a background in organic and fair trade business which led to founding the Stockwood Community Benefit Society. This owns Stockwood Business Park and Rush Farm near Inkberrow to secure rural employment and 150 acres of bio-diverse agriculture.
“As a Liberal Democrat, my values are fairness, freedom, responsibility and kindness. I celebrate entrepreneurship and am committed to equality of opportunity for all.
“Local government impacts the quality of our daily lives and as councillor for Harvington I will apply my skills and values to serving local people.”
Harry Cottam – UKIP
“I am a practicing solicitor. I am chairman of the UKIP Branch in the Redditch constituency and also the party deputy spokesman for Justice. I am married to Caron and have a keen interest in motorbikes, old historical books and SAT NAV technology.”
Sarah Cohen – Green Party
The party hadn’t responded to our requests for information as the Observer went to press.