VOTERS are being asked to show respect and civility towards candidates standing in, and officers running, the local elections on 4 May.

The Local Government Association (LGA) is calling for no abuse or intimidation towards those standing in the upcoming local elections.

As over 70 per cent of the country go to the polls in May, both organisations are encouraging everyone to treat all those involved in the elections with respect and dignity.

The calls come as the LGA’s 2022 Councillor Survey previously found that:

•7 in 10 councillors faced abuse or intimidation between 2021-22.

•Just over a quarter (28 per cent) of councillors in England and Wales felt personally at risk in their role.

A large number of respondents also felt that the line between political competition and personal attacks had been crossed during local election campaigns.

Last year the LGA set up its Debate Not Hate campaign, to raise awareness and to help tackle this problem.

This set of local elections sees the introduction of the requirement for voters to produce ID in order to vote. Councils are urging people to check if they have a photo ID well ahead of time so they don’t miss out on their chance to participate in important local elections.

The LGA is also reminding voters to be patient with hardworking local polling station staff as they implement the new changes.

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Vice-Chair of the LGA, said: ‘These upcoming elections are incredibly important in setting the future direction of our local communities.

‘The tens of thousands of people who are standing as candidates in them are doing a great public service. Candidates and councillors want to engage with as many voters as possible during this election campaign.

‘However, they should not have to experience abuse, threats or any kind of harmful behaviour.’