CABINET CALL: By Coun Sally Slade
What’s new in the council’s democratic services department? Well, the electoral services team has been working on individual electoral registration, which was introduced in June 2014.
In the past, your household would receive one annual form, which the head of the household would complete on your behalf.
This somewhat old-fashioned system has, understandably, been transformed. There may be some arguments as to who the head of the household is, after all.
Nowadays, individuals are responsible for registering themselves, so that they are included on the register of electors and able to vote.
The household will still get a household enquiry form (HEF), which must be checked for any changes –you need to return it even if there are none.
You can complete it online, by telephone or even by text. Add anyone who is 16 or 17 years old, so that they can be included in future correspondence and eligible to vote once they are 18.
All potential new electors will then receive an invitation to register (ITR), which sounds terribly grand.
You can reply to the ITR in various ways, but it is recommended that you register online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
My daughter recently received one, because she soon turns 18, and was quite excited to get some official correspondence that wasn’t a bank statement.
Remember, if you have moved house in the last year, you will need to complete a new application.
If you are approaching your 18th birthday and have not received an ITR, then do go online and register.
Credit checking agencies use the information for checking your credit status when you apply for a loan or a mortgage, so being included in the register of electors is not just about the voting process.
The deadline to be included in the December register has now past, but this is an ongoing process.
If you apply from now on, you will be registered from the start of the following month, provided you apply by the monthly deadline.
There are elections in most years, whether for parish, district, county or Parliament, so make sure you are registered to vote.