RESIDENTS in Gloucestershire are being urged to use their vote and have their say in shaping to runs the county in the upcoming council elections.
On Thursday May 4, voters will go to the polls across the 53 electoral divisions which make up Gloucestershire County Council (GCC).
These elections will determine how Shire Hall is run for the next four years.
The last elections took place in 2013 and saw the Conservatives emerge as the largest party, with 25 councillors.
The Liberal Democrats are the second largest party with 14 and Labour come behind them with nine.
There are two independents councillors, one Green, one UKIP and one vacant seat.
Four years ago the turnout of the elections was only 32.3 per cent of 475,960 people who were eligible to vote.
This time around GCC are keen to boost that number and achieve greater democratic participation among the county’s residents.
Pete Bungard, county returning officer and chief executive, said: “The county council has an impact on the lives of all Gloucestershire residents.
“Elected councillors are the public’s representatives on the county council so it is important that people use their vote on polling day.
“Voting is a privilege and responsibility. By using your vote, you have the power to make your voice heard. I know that some people say their vote doesn’t matter, but it really does.
“It only takes a few short minutes to register and is really simple as well.”
To be able to vote, you must:
- be registered
- be 18 or over on the day of the election (polling day)
- be a British, Commonwealth or EU citizen
- be resident at an address in the area you wish to vote in
- not be legally excluded from voting
If you aren’t already, you can register to vote by visiting www.gov.uk/register-to-vote, but must do so by the April 13.
For those wishing to have a postal vote, postal proxy or to make changes to an existing postal vote for the elections, they must return their application form by 5pm on April 18.
Anyone wishing to apply for a proxy vote, where someone votes on your behalf, should return their application form by 5pm on April 25 to their local district council.