Parliamentary elections (also known as General Elections) are usually held every five years. The only exception to this five year rule is if the Government resigns and a new one is not formed within 14 days.
In this election, you are voting for someone to become your local Member of Parliament (MP), who will represent your views within the House of Commons. The MP who is supported by over half of all the MPs in the House of Commons will be appointed as Prime Minister and form the government to rule the country.
County Council elections
Elections to the County Council take place every four years, during a year when there are no district Council elections. There are 78 Councillors on Hertfordshire County Council. The North Hertfordshire District area returns nine County Councillors.
District Council elections
North Hertfordshire District councillors are also elected for four years, but the periods they serve are staggered. Approximately one third of the Council is up for election each year for three years. No district elections take place during the fourth year (a gap for holding County Council elections). Then the cycle starts again. There are 49 Councillors on North Hertfordshire District Council.
Parish Council elections
Parish elections are held once every four years. There are 31 parish councils within the North Hertfordshire area and one Town council (Royston). Towns have the same functions as parishes (the designation "town" is ceremonial). In this election you are voting to elect parish councillors who will represent your views for the parish in which you live and raise a local tax (precept) to provide specific services for those living in the parish.
Police and Crime Commissioner elections
Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC) are elected officials who have responsibility for the policing budget, appointing the Chief Constable and setting out a police crime plan. These elections are held every four years and in this area you will be voting for the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire. The supplementary vote system is used, where voters mark the ballot paper with their first and second choices of candidate.