Have YOU registered to vote?

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It’s time to make sure your vote is counted on Thursday 7th May. This is when elections for the UK Parliament, West Lindsey District Council and Welton Parish Council will be held.

Changes to electoral registration means each person must apply separately and register details individually. Recently released figures show that although the number of electors on the new electoral register is 71,866, this is a reduction of 2,085 since last year. This may mean individuals are not aware of the new individual registration changes.

To make sure your vote counts, your name must be included in the electoral register. Under the new Individual Electoral Registration system, you now take individual responsibility for your own registration. Voters can still apply to have their name included on the electoral register, and are advised to do this as soon as possible before the deadline of Monday 20th April. The quickest and easiest way to register is online at www. gov.uk/register-to-vote or by contacting the elections office if you do not have internet access.

West Lindsey has been proactive in contacting young persons whose names should be included on the register for the first time. But it is important that if you will turn 18 years old in the next twelve months you register to have a vote. Manjeet Gill, Chief Executive of West Lindsey District Council, is keen that everyone is eligible to take part. She said:

“If you want to have a direct impact on local and national issues it is vitally important that you are registered to vote. This is your chance to make sure your views are represented democratically.”

Anyone on the electoral register can now also apply for a postal vote. You can be sent an application form from the elections office. Forms can also be downloaded from the council’s website at www.west-lindsey.gov.uk. Ballot papers will be sent out two weeks before the election for you to cast your vote. You are assured that postal voting follows strict secrecy rules and you are guaranteed that no one else will know how you have voted. Those electors who already have postal votes do not need to reapply.

Each elector entitled to vote at the upcoming elections on 7th May will receive a poll card which will give details of their local polling station. Polling takes place between 7am and 10pm. If you have any queries please contact the elections office on 01427 676628 at the Guildhall in Gainsborough.

Could you be a councillor?

If you want to take a more active role in civic life then now is your chance to stand up and be counted. All 36 seats on the district council are up for election in May 2015, giving you the perfect opportunity to get involved and exert some influence on future decisions for your local community. Or you could become one of 590 town/parish councillors.

Manjeet Gill, Chief Executive of West Lindsey District Council, said:

“Councillors play a key role in improving the quality of life for all those who live or work within the district. If you want to help the council address certain issues or simply make a difference then now is the time to act as the voice for the community and help shape services.”

District councillors represent wards which are normally made up of a number of parishes. Town/parish councillors will either represent a whole parish or a ward if a parish or town council is divided up into smaller areas. Councillors are elected to serve for four years but if for some reason a vacancy occurs a by-election may be held. Apart from a commitment to serve local people no specific qualifications are needed to become a councillor. To find out more, visit www.west-lindsey.gov.uk/beacllr.

[Source: Welton News – January 2015 Edition]