A “bumper crop” of elections set to take place next month in England, Wales and Scotland provide our societies with a “vital opportunity” to “build a better future”, the Trussell Trust has said.
The food bank charity said the outcomes of these elections will help to determine how the UK will recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and could provide “a turning point” in building a future where food banks are no longer needed.
“The stakes are high, and they impact so many of us in different ways. All in all, about 48 million people will be able to vote to elect almost 5,000 to positions of power across Great Britain on 6th May,” said Rory Weal, policy & public affairs manager at the Trussell Trust.
The “bumper crop of elections” taking place on this day include those for the Scottish Parliament and the Senedd in Wales, which will determine the next governments for the two nations for the next four years, with responsibilities covering the likes of health, housing, and education.
They are joined by the delayed elections for local authorities across England, as well as for mayors in cities such as London and Greater Manchester.
“These elections will have huge consequences for how we all live our lives, and for the services and financial support available for people on the lowest incomes,” said Mr Weal.
“What’s more, they offer a vital opportunity to win support for measures which will end the need for food banks and create a society where everyone can afford the essentials.”
Mr Weal stressed that this matter has never been more urgent.
“Since the pandemic hit, more people than ever have been pushed into destitution, unable to afford the essentials that we all need to survive. This has led to unprecedented numbers of people needing emergency food.”
However, he noted that these problems are not new and that the pandemic has simply shone a spotlight on and accelerated many of the issues that communities were already facing.
The Trussell Trust is asking people to contact their local candidates and ask them to pledge to working to end the need for food banks.
Picture: A volunteer helps out at a food bank in Glasgow.