Cabinet Call by South Holland Council leader Gary Porter
I’m not going to talk about the General Election (important as that is) but our local elections.
The year 2015 will be the first time since 1979 that local elections are held on the same day as the General Election, and the first elections using individual voter registration.
With IER every individual is responsible for their own registration. Most people are now able to register to vote online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
We are writing to all South Holland residents explaining the change. You could be someone who needs to re-register so it is important you look out for a letter from us between July 28 and August 29 which will explain what, if anything, you need to do to make sure of your vote.
As your council we have a duty and responsibility to encourage local people to engage with elections; in the run up to May 2015 we will be doing a lot to raise awareness.
At the same time, for you to vote we need people to actually stand for election, which is the reason why I am raising the issue now.
Whatever the political party, the future of local democracy depends on our ability to find people from across South Holland prepared, able and willing (I say this with some trepidation!) to put themselves forward as candidates.
Putting to one side for a moment political allegiances, as leader of South Holland District Council I take very seriously my duty to encourage people to put themselves forward as candidates.
Speaking personally a strong mix of candidates from all backgrounds is vital in ensuring a healthy local democracy. If you have questions of a general nature about becoming a candidate then I will be pleased to help.
For political matters I have arranged that you can contact the Local Government Association political groups direct on: Conservative 0207 6643281; Labour 0207 6643263; Lib Dems 0207 6643235; Independent Group (who deal with all other aligned and non-aligned councillors) 0207 6643224.
Please think seriously about becoming a candidate. Your decision will be important for everyone living in South Holland.