2 Apr 2010

Parish Council elections: please consider standing

Firstly are you registered to vote? More details below - but also are you interested in standing in Parish or District elections. There is still time!

Photo: Front page of The Citizen nearly four years ago announcing my win!

Parish and Town Council elections

Whiteshill and Ruscombe Parish Council have 9 vacancies - see here with a link to more about what it means to be a Parish Councillor - While in Randwick Parish there are two wards: Randwick Ward and Randwick (Lower Westrip) Ward. There are 4 councillors for Randwick Ward and 5 councillors for Lower Westrip Ward. Across the District many other Parish and Town Councils also have vacancies.

Nomination forms may be obtained from the Clerk to the Parish Council or from Stroud District Council offices. If a Parliamentary Election is called for May 6th, Parish Council Elections will be postponed until May 27th.

John Rogers, the Chair of Whiteshill and Ruscombe Parish has just written to the local press highlighting the poor publicity around the Parish elections - I agree much more could be done to encourage folk to get involved in their local community. Here is what he wrote: "I wonder how many of you readers know that the nomination of candidate for many of the local Parish Councils opened on the 29th March and closes at noon on Thursday 8 April. This information will have been posted on village notice boards but I do feel that SDC should have published this more widely. Serving on Parish Councils is one way for ordinary people to get involved with improving their areas. Many are non political so the members and potential members have no organisation to advise them consequently I would have thought the SDC Democratic Services had a duty to widely advertise the opportunity offered by standing for a Parish Council, the time table involved and details of the procedures."

District Council elections

A third of the seats of Stroud District will also be contested. I have completed my papers and will be standing again in this ward. Of course I am reluctant to urge folk to stand against me! However if folk do or want to stand in other wards there is still time to contact the District Council.

Register to vote by 20th April

Residents are being advised that there are just a few weeks left to register in time to ensure that they can vote in the elections on 6th May 2010. The 20th April registration deadline is fast approaching and Stroud District Council is making a final call for those eligible to vote to ensure they are on the electoral roll. Completed applications for postal votes must also be received by this date. Anyone not registered by 20th April will not be able to vote in the local or general elections, should the latter be called for the same day.

Registering is particularly important for anyone who has recently moved home – if they do not register at their new address they risk falling off the electoral register. Not signing up could also seriously harm residents financial as well as democratic status. Companies offering credit all refer to the electoral register. Anyone not on it is likely to find their application refused.

George Coates, Stroud District Council’s election officer said: ‘You can't vote if you're not registered, and contrary to popular belief, you won't be automatically registered even if you pay council tax. We are urging all residents to ensure they are on the electoral roll, and that those who wish to vote by post request application forms now.’ Advice on how to register: If you are not sure you are registered to vote, call the electoral services team on 01453 754383 or email elections@stroud.gov.uk If you haven't already received and returned a registration or postal voting form, call 01453 754383, email elections@stroud.gov.uk or download one from the council website at www.stroud.gov.uk/voting

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