TODAY the polling stations are open across Stroud district for voters to choose who should represent them in Brussels at the European parliament as well as for their ward at Stroud District Council.

There are six parties vying for control of 18 seats at the Stroud District Council, which is a third of the council.

The political breakdown of the seats being contested is Conservatives hold nine, Labour three, Lib Dems three, the Greens one, Conservative no group one and one independent.

Seats on Berkeley Town council will also be contested for the town’s reseidnets to pick.

There are 98 polling stations in the district, which will be open from 7am to 10pm

In the Gazette’s readership the wards of Berkeley, Cam East, Cam West, Coaley and Uley, Dursley, Severn, Vale and Wotton-under-Edge have their seat up for grabs.

The total number of seats on SDC is 51, with the Conservatives currently holding 21, five shy of what is needed to control the administration.

In the European elections, MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) are elected under a proportional representation system, meaning you vote for one party which puts forward a list of six candidates.

The parties are then allocated a number of MEPs according to their share of the vote for the region.

There are six seats for the South West of England, which everyone in the district can vote for.

Parties respective manifestos for local and European elections, as well as the list of candidates are available here.