Last year, almost one in ten households did not reply to Wyre Forest District Council’s letter asking them to confirm their electoral register details – costing the authority more than £30,000, money which could have been spent on essential local services.
This year the letters are being sent out over the next week and householders are being urged to respond as soon as possible to confirm or change their details.
If the details are correct the easiest way to confirm this is online, by text or by phone. The letter explains how local residents can use these efficient and swift methods of replying. If the details need changing the form should be updated, signed and returned by post by Monday 20 August. If a household does not respond by then a reminder form will be sent.
The forms are part of Wyre Forest District Council’s annual voter registration canvass, which is a legal requirement. The law also requires residents to respond to the correspondence sent out. The canvass is to make sure that the electoral register is up to date. It also identifies any residents who are not registered, so that they can be encouraged to register.
Elections for a four year term for councillors of Wyre Forest District Council and Parish Councils (excluding Kidderminster Town Council) will be taking place in May 2019. Returning the form is an opportunity for residents to make sure that, when the elections take place, they will easily be able to take part.
Ian Miller, Electoral Registration Officer at Wyre Forest District Council, said: “Anyone who wants to vote must be registered. You must respond to the annual canvass form received by your household, and follow the instructions on the form. If nothing has changed, it is simplest to tell us on line, by text or by phone. Please reply immediately. Otherwise we have to send reminder letters and pay visits to households. People who don’t respond cause additional and unnecessary cost to the tax payer.”
“If you’re not currently registered, we’ll send you information explaining how to do this or you can simply go online to apply to register at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote . If you do not register, it will not only affect your right to vote. It may also affect your ability to open a bank account, or to obtain credit, a loan or a mortgage as the full register is checked by authorised credit agencies.”
It is also important that anyone who has moved address recently returns the form with the updated details.
Aged 16 or over (a person may register to vote at 16, but may not vote until they are 18)
A British or qualifying Commonwealth citizen who has leave to enter and remain in the UK or does not require such leave.
A citizen of the Republic of Ireland or other European Union (EU) member state.