HAMPSHIRE residents are being reminded to ensure they have registered to vote in the Hampshire County Council elections in May.
On polling day, Thursday, May 4, the 1.3 million people living in the 76 electoral divisions will choose who they want to run the range of essential local services that impact on all aspects of everyday life.
Services delivered by the council include education, roads and social care for vulnerable children and adults, as well as access to the countryside, and libraries.
Two divisions elect two councillors, due to the size of the electorate, so Hampshire County Council consists of 78 councillors.
Councillors represent all the people within their divisions, decide how £1.9 billion of taxpayers’ money is spent each year, and make the policies to secure high quality services for the residents of, and visitors to Hampshire.
Councillors provide a focus for local people when they have concerns or want things done, using their local knowledge of the area and the issues affecting residents to help the County Council make decisions and check the quality of services it delivers.
District councils, such as East Hampshire District Council, administer the county council’s four-yearly elections on behalf of John Coughlan, the County Returning Officer and Chief Executive.
Mr Coughlan said: “The county council elections happen once every four years and provide an opportunity for the democratic process to take place and for the public to have their say at the ballot box.
“To be eligible to vote and choose your representative on the county council, you first have to be on the electoral register, so it’s vital you have registered by the deadline.”
To vote in the election, you must be registered by Thursday, April 13, and polling cards, and applications for postal and proxy votes will be issued to residents by their district council.
.If you’re not sure if you’re registered, contact your local district or borough council and they can check for you.
If you can’t get to the polling station on election day, you can still vote by post or appoint someone (a proxy) to vote on your behalf. Contact the district or borough council for your area, and they can send you a form. The deadline for new postal vote applications is 5pm on Tuesday, April 18. For proxy vote applications, it’s 5pm on Tuesday, April 25.
To register to vote, visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote (you’ll need your national insurance number). If you don’t have internet access, then contact your local district council.