DERBYSHIRE: Sign up to vote in council elections – before it’s too late

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Time is fast running out for residents to make sure they can vote in Derbyshire County Council’s elections on Thursday, May 2.

All 64 seats will be up for grabs as a new council is elected for the first time in four years.

But adults who have not registered to vote by Wednesday will not be able to have their say.

That is why the authority has launched a Use Your Vote campaign to urge residents not to miss out on the chance to help shape the way in which £525m is spent each year − excluding schools − on vital services for more than 760,000 local people.

Residents at risk of missing their chance to vote include those who have moved house recently and assume they are automatically registered at their new address because they pay council tax. In fact, the two processes are completely separate.

Also at risk are people who have turned 18 since the last election in their area and do not realise that this is their chance to vote for the first time.

Local people can register to vote by visiting www.aboutmyvote.co.uk or contacting the electoral registration office at their district or borough council.

Anyone unsure about the district they live in can find out by entering their post code at www.aboutmyvote.co.uk. Help is also available from the Electoral Commission’s information hotline on 0800 3 280 280.

April 17 is also the deadline for people to apply to vote by post. Residents have until 5pm to sign up by visiting www.aboutmyvote.co.uk or contacting their local district or borough council.

Derbyshire County Council’s chief executive Nick Hodgson urged people to vote as the authority’s services affect everyone’s life.

He said: “We work throughout your community and − when needed − in your own home. Whatever your age you’ll be using at least one county council service.

“We all rely on services like schools, roads, libraries, buses, children’s centres and waste disposal.

“Then there are the ones we don’t all use but we need − including home helps, services to protect children from harm and care for elderly and disabled people.

“We’re hoping that as many as possible of around 590,000 eligible voters will turn out on the day and have their say on the running of important local services.”

Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm and voters should look out for the polling cards that will be dropping through their letterbox before the election to tell them where to vote.

Eligible voters who do not receive a polling card for any reason will still be able to vote.