LOCAL elections for the Vale of Glamorgan Council are fast approaching.

The Penarth Times takes a look at some of the key information you need to know before casting your vote.

The ballot - which takes place on Thursday May 4 - will see registered voters across the county choosing their councillors to serve for the next five years.

A total of 159 candidates will be in the running for 47 seats this time round.

These include 47 from the Conservatives, 38 from Labour, 30 from Plaid Cymru, 18 independents, 10 from the Green Party, six from the Liberal Democrats, four from Llantwit First Independents, three from UKIP, two from the Pirate Party and one other candidate.

The council has been controlled by a Labour and Llantwit First Independents coalition for the last five years. They took over from the previous Conservative administration following the last local election in 2012.

Areas in which the council holds responsibility include council housing, education services, electoral registration, environmental health, leisure and recreation facilities, libraries, local planning local transport, parks and public places, regulation of local business, roads and footpaths, social services and waste and recycling.

There will also be 25 contested town and community council elections across the Vale of Glamorgan.

Former mayor Fred Johnson, former deputy leader of the council Stuart Egan, Janice Birch and Jeff James are amongst those who will not be standing for re-election.