Voters up and down the country are going to the polls for the Local Elections this year.

The biggest elections in our area are the Wokingham Borough elections, where voters throughout the borough will be selecting their ward councillors.

There is a total of 18 seats up for grabs spread across the town itself, the Reading suburban areas of Earley, Woodley and Shinfield, and Wokingham’s satellite villages such as Twyford, Finchampstead and Hurst.

READ MORE: Voting at polling stations amid a pandemic - what's changed?

There are a total of 54 seats on the council. The Conservatives are currently in charge with 31 councillors, a majority of 23. The second biggest party is the Liberal Democrats, with 15 candidates. The Labour Party currently has 4 councillors, and there are three independents. Councillors are elected for 4 year terms. Incumbents this year were last elected in 2016. There were meant to be elections in 2020, but these were called off to stop the spread of the pandemic. Therefore any incumbents have served extended 5 year terms.

Wokingham Liberal Democrat leader Councillor Lyndsay Ferris admitted that taking control of the council would be “unrealistic” but expressed a desire to eat into the Conservative majority.

Cllr Andy Croy, Wokingham Labour leader, said the Conservatives had “a fight on their hands" this year.

Meanwhile, Cllr John Halsall, Wokingham Conservative leader and sitting leader of the council made an emphatic appeal to voters to retain the Conservative administration.

All three of these leaders face the voters this year, with Cllr Ferris defending his seat in Twyford, Cllr Croy hoping to keep his seat in Bulmershe & Whitegates, and Cllr Halsall hoping to win in Remenham, Wargrave and Ruscombe ward.

Former councillors Julian McGhee-Sumner, Norman Jorgensen and Shahid Younis, all Conservatives, are seeking to reclaim seats on the council this year.

Candidate articles for Wokingham elections:

All the Conservative candidates standing for election in Wokingham in 2021

All the Liberal Democrat councillors standing for election in Wokingham in 2021

All the Labour candidates standing for election in Wokingham in 2021

Wokingham elections 2021: candidates from other parties

READ MORE: Wokingham Candidates explain what is it like to campaign during the pandemic

Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley Police

Voters in Wokingham Borough and Bracknell Forest will also be selecting the Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley Police today.

The position is currently held by Anthony Stansfeld (CON) who is retiring.

He will be replaced by either Matthew Barber (CON), Laetisia Carter (LAB), John Howson (Lib Dem) or Alan Robinson, who is standing as an independent.

You can check out all the candidates here

Voters can select their 1st and 2nd preference in the vote. The results will be delivered on Monday, May 10.

Town Council by-elections 

There will be two town council by-elections in Bracknell Forest today.

Voters in Great Hollands South will be choosing one ward councillor to sit on Bracknell Town Council, which has 26 members.

It is made up of 21 Conservatives, 4 Labour party members and a lone Liberal Democrat, Councillor Thomas Parker.

Three candidates will be vying for votes in the election: James Alexander (CON), Derek Florey (GREEN) and Lucy Young (LAB).

You can check out the candidates and their biographies here

In Sandhurst, voters in Little Sandhurst  will be choosing one ward councillor to sit on the Town Council.

The Town Council has 24 members, with six members representing Little Sandhurst. It is currently made up of 21 Conservatives, Liberal Democrat Councillor Mark Vandersluis and Independent Cllr Nicole York.

Candidates from the big three parties are seeking to represent Little Sandhurst. They Christopher Ives (Lib Dem), Michael Karim, (LAB) and Paul Widdowson (CON).

You can check out the candidates and their biographies here

Crowthorne Neighbourhood Plan referendum 

In Crowthorne, voters will be deciding whether to approve the village’s Neighbourhood Plan.

The objectives of the plan are:

A. To promote high quality design and ensure the design of new development contributes positively to the visual heritage and landscape character of the local surroundings

B. To sustain the range of shops and businesses that are essential to the local area

C. To encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport in and around the parish to better manage the harmful effects of road traffic

D. To maintain and enhance the quality and abundance of environmental assets and ensure no significant effects on the Thames Basin Heath Special Protection Area (SPA)

If more than 50 per cent of voters say yes to implementing the plan, it will be used to steer planning objectives in the village until 2036.

You can read our explainer here.

ELECTION 2021: Find out when results will be announced