Soon, people across Barnsley will go to the polls to vote for local councillors and the Mayor of South Yorkshire.

This is set to be a year full of elections, with a general election on the horizon at some point before the end of January 2025.

Barnsley Council has been a proud Labour authority for 50 years, during a period of huge change in the area, from the closure of the pits to today’s cost-of-living crisis.

Councils are experiencing significant cuts from government.

In fact, Barnsley Council have faced some of the biggest cuts in the country, of around £130m for every year that the Conservatives have been in charge, amounting to more than £1bn.

Despite this difficult financial outlook, they have still managed to invest in our local area, taking action to save shops from collapsing due to the pandemic, regenerating our town centre, and giving help and support to residents throughout the cost of living crisis.

Barnsley Council was awarded two Council of the Year awards in 2023.

Things are not perfect and there are still issues that I know people are concerned about: from potholes to fly-tipping, Barnsley Council does their best, but I appreciate these issues are still of concern to local people.

The Mayor of South Yorkshire is pushing to bring South Yorkshire’s bus services back into public control, after the region has lost over 40 per cent of our bus services in the last decade alone.

This has been crucial to ensuring that people no longer feel left behind or cut off from other parts of Barnsley because of bus routes being scrapped.

Ultimately, we need a Labour government, but it is clear that Labour councils and mayoral authorities work.

After 14 years of Conservative government, it is incredibly difficult to get an appointment with a GP, there are very few NHS dentists available, and crime and antisocial behaviour rates are soaring.

Labour would deliver two million more NHS appointments every year, introduce 700,000 more urgent dentist appointments, and hire 13,000 more neighbourhood police and PCSOs to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour.

However, our councillors and the Mayor of South Yorkshire show that Labour works hard for the people, even in difficult circumstances.

The last Labour government brought record investment in our NHS, driving down waiting lists, rebuilt every secondary school in Barnsley, and introducing over 14,000 more police in England and Wales.

Of course, we also introduced the groundbreaking National Minimum Wage.

This polling day, send the government a message and vote Labour.

Be sure to remember your photo ID on May 2, or you will not be able to vote.