On May 3 thousands of voters in Croydon will head to polling stations for the fourth time in three years.

Rather than Brexit, the London Mayor or Members of Parliament, voters will be making their decisions over bin collections, housing developments and libraries.

The 2018 local elections will take place in 150 authorities across the country, including all London boroughs.

In Croydon, the last time most voters chose councillors was 2014, the exceptions being by-elections in the Selhurst ward in 2015, West Thornton in 2016 and South Norwood in 2017.

The council is currently run by the Labour Party, which has 39 councillors; the opposition is the Conservative Party, which has 29 councillors, and there are no other parties represented in council seats.

In the 2014 elections, Labour took control of the council from the Tories, winning eight seats from them in the process.

What you are voting for

You will be voting for a councillor to represent your ward at the borough council. Borough councils look after bin collections, recycling, planning permissions, parking, and housing.

Borough councils also look after social care, open spaces and littering. It is also responsible for setting a portion of your council tax.

You are voting for local councillors who will represent your views at council meetings, and who will help you if you have issues with the council. They will sit on committees and vote on decisions.

Some powers, like major highways and transport, and planning strategies, are looked after by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

How do I vote?

You have to register to vote by midnight on Tuesday, April 17. Once you have registered, you will get a polling card sent to your address.

You have to register for a postal vote by 5pm on Wednesday, April 18. This can be done online here.

Some councils have had boundary changes which mean your polling station might not be in the usual place.

Your polling card will tell you which station you need to go to cast your vote, and you will not require ID.

What happens if I can’t get to the polling station?

You can apply for a postal vote, or a proxy vote. This means someone can go and vote on your behalf. You can apply for that here.

The person you choose as your proxy must be old enough and registered to vote.

What happens at the polling station?

• Go to the desk and give your ID or polling card to the staff

• Staff will issue you with a ballot paper

• Take your ballot paper to the voting booth

• Read the instructions in the booth and mark your ballot paper and fold it over

• Put your folded ballot paper into the ballot box.

What will happen between now and May 3?

Expect to see a lot of leaflets and a lot of campaigning. Candidates will be out knocking on doors and talking to voters from now until election day.