I HOPE Courier readers enjoyed Easter, whether that meant the most significant Sunday in your church, lots of chocolate eggs, or just the first real break of the year – or indeed, all of the above!

I fear that with only a few weeks left to the council elections you were probably not left in peace by political activists, though. Last week was a critical one because postal votes started to arrive with voters. More and more people vote this way nowadays, and it does make sense for many to do so.

So, many people will already have been faced with the single transferable vote system again. Of course we have voted this way before for councillors, but not for five years. Out canvassing, I have certainly found many who still feel unfamiliar with the system.

The first thing to remember is that candidates must be ranked in order of preference, by putting 1, 2, 3 etc against their names on the ballot paper. If you vote with crosses in this election, your vote will not count.

You can vote for as many or as few candidates as you wish, but you must put your ‘top’ candidate number ‘1’. If you only wish to vote for one party, simply put numbers only against those candidates. If there are parties you definitely do not want to vote for, simply leave their spaces blank.

You will not be surprised to know that I hope you will vote ‘1’ for Labour, as well as ‘2’ and ‘3’ where there is more than one Labour candidate!

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale joined our campaigning in East Lothian over Easter weekend. She summed it up neatly to one voter, saying of our Labour candidates: “You can be sure they will oppose independence and a second independence referendum, but above all you can be sure they will always put East Lothian and local communities first.”