In a deluge of democracy, the voters of Northumberland will take part in elections at every level of government in just five weeks.
From Wooler to Westminster, from Pegswood to Parliament and from Hexham to the House of Commons, residents will have their say on parish, town and county councillors today before the focus switches to the General Election on June 8.
At 7am this morning, 228 polling stations opened in community venues across the county as the local elections take place, giving residents the chance to elect representatives for the next four years.
As previously reported, the members of a large number of town and parish councils have been decided without the need for a ballot, but all 67 county-council seats are being put to the vote.
The county’s councillors were last elected in 2013, but it was just two years ago that the MPs for Northumberland’s four constituencies regained or won their seats for the first time.
But we will be doing it all over again next month in what is a vastly changed political landscape following the EU referendum last June and with new leaders in charge of all five of the main political parties.
The list of candidates has started to grow, ahead of next Thursday’s deadline.
The Gazette covers a wide range of local issues on behalf of our readers, from dog poo and parking to dualling the A1 and major housing developments.
As ever, we would urge all of you to vote and have your say on the issues that matter to you by casting your vote for decision-makers from parish councils to the Prime Minister.