VOTERS go to the polls on Thursday in a series of elections that will have ramifications beyond just the make-up of town halls.

So-called "Super Thursday" sees councillors on 124 authorities, mayors in London, Bristol, Liverpool and Salford plus police and crime commissioners up for election.

Nationally the verdict of the electorate will be used as a barometer to measure the likely storms ahead for parties and their leaderships.

Jeremy Corbyn goes into the first national test of his tenure with the party openly at war over allegations of anti-semitism and critics sharpening their knives if the performance falls short of their expectations.

Deep divisions within the Conservative Party over the EU - thrust into the public gaze by Iain Duncan Smith's dramatic resignation - may affect their attempts to build on last year's poll-defying general election victory.

The polls are an opportunity for Liberal Democrats to show whether they are on the road to electoral recovery after the trauma of being almost wiped out at Westminster in 2015 after five years of coalition government with the Tories.

Locally there is a list of pressing issues that might affect how people will vote.

Among that list and near the very top will be the future of closure-threatened Girtrell Court respite centre.

An "extraordinary" meeting of all 66 councillors called after an article on the Globe website failed to provide an unambiguous answer to the key question of whether the facility will close in August or not.

Another highly-controversial issue put on hold is the long-awaited report - believed to have been in studied in secret for many weeks at the town hall - into the co-called "Wirralgate" scandal has yet to be seen by anyone outside the inner circle.

Readers may remember this centres on allegations of a plot to "smear" a leading councillor by political rivals and has been the subject of TWO costly inquiries by an outside consultant.

Several meetings scheduled to air the consultant's findings have been cancelled.

Government cuts to Merseyside's fire service budget were acutely highlighted after the tragic deaths of an elderly couple in a blaze at their home in West Kirby, where the local fire station was closed down last year.

The Fire Brigades Union said the incident began while crews tackled another major blaze in Birkenhead and warned that in such situations it was "pot luck" who gets the "speedy and lifesaving response."

Spending cuts imposed on the council have led to yet more redundancies and the continued reduction of public services - coupled with a council tax hike of 4% - which may also be remembered as voters enter their polling stations.

And the perpetual battle against anti-social behaviour could also play a part in some wards.

The issue came out at the very top of a list of concerns during a recent public consultation commissioned by the town hall.

Police claim they are winning the war against yobs but this has been disputed in several quarters - not least in Birkenhead by the town's outspoken MP.

It will be only the second time the police and crime commissioner elections have taken place.

The first time was in November 2012 after the new police commissioner role was created which in Merseyside was won by Labour's Jane Kennedy.

Of course all the elections will be taking place in the shadow of the looming referendum on Britain's EU mrmbership - which is held just seven weeks later on June 23.

Wirral at the polls:

In Wirral there are 23 seats up for election - the current position is that 14 are held by Labour, Conservatives defend seven and Liberal Democrats two.

The Green Party will be hoping to gain a second seat following Pat Cleary's success in 2014 and are fielding 21 candidates.

This time around Ukip is only contesting nine wards while last year they had a candidate standing for every available seat.

Wirral candidates:

Conservative: 23

Labour: 23

Green: 21

Liberal Democrat: 19


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition : 7

Independent: 1

Merseyside's Police and Crime Commissioner candidates are:

Jane Kennedy standing again for Labour, Christopher Carubia for the Liberal Democrats, David Burgess-Joyce for Conservatives and John Coyne will represent the Green Party.

Polling booths open on Thursday, May 5, at 7am and close at 10pm.

The Wirral Council result will be known on the night with winners and losers being announced from around 11pm.

Votes cast in the police commissioner ballot will not be counted until the following morning, May 6.