Calls to register to vote as deadline for crucial May elections looms

Residents are being encouraged to register to vote before April 12 Picture: ARCHANT

Residents are being encouraged to register to vote before April 12 Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Residents are being urged to register to vote so they can have their say in a crucial set of upcoming Suffolk elections.

People have until April 12 to register to vote, with the new East Suffolk and West Suffolk councils - being formed as a result of two mergers - holding their first set of elections this year.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics have showed that the number of registered voters in local elections has gone down in the past year in the Babergh, Mid Suffolk and St Edmundsbury districts.

The largest drop was in Babergh, where there were 840 fewer registered voters in December 2018 compared to December 2017.

However the other four councils - Forest Heath, Ipswich, Suffolk Coastal and Waveney - all saw increases in the same time period, with Waveney seeing the largest increase of 2,492 electors.

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A West Suffolk councils spokesman said: “This will be the first election of the 64 West Suffolk councillors and will also be combined with any contested elections for the 117 parish and town councils across the area.

“There are just over 120,000 electors currently on the West Suffolk electoral register and this is expected to increase as the deadline to register approaches.”

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A spokesman for Suffolk Coastal added: “There are still eligible people who have not registered. We would urge them to take action now, before time runs out.”

Arthur Charvonia, returning officer for elections in Babergh and Mid Suffolk districts, said: “This May’s local elections will set the direction of our councils for the next four years, shaping policies on housing delivery, economic grants and community funding. British, EU and qualifying Commonwealth citizens can all vote.”

Returning officer for Ipswich Borough Council, Russell Williams, added: “Polling cards for this election have already been sent out so if you haven’t received one by the beginning of next week, it is likely that you are not registered to vote.”

You can still register online to vote up until Friday, April 12.

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