20 October 2015

Do you want to have your say on the services provided in Sheffield or in the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union?

The local elections next year may seem a long way off, but whenever it is called, a referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union would only need six weeks’ notice!

Sheffield residents are now being encouraged to check and make sure they are registered to vote

Apart from crucial national issues, the ballot box gives you the right to vote for the person or party who has a major influence on local school provision, waste disposal, highways improvement, housing and many other everyday services that we all rely on.

The closing date for local voters to register is 17 November to allow time for the up-dated register to be produced by the 1 December deadline.

A new system called ‘Individual Electoral Registration’ was introduced last year and everyone is now responsible for registering themselves. Under the old system the ‘head of each household’ could register everyone who lived at their address.

Over 90 per cent of eligible voters are already registered to vote and should have been moved onto the new system automatically. Enquiry forms were also sent to households across the city this summer.

Anyone who hasn’t yet responded to the forms sent out this summer should do so now and if you don’t think you are registered go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

Registering online should take less than five minutes. People will be asked for their date of birth and National Insurance number to register. These details are checked against Government records to help make sure all registrations are genuine.

Unless residents apply to register under the new system, they will be removed on 1 December this year. It only takes a few minutes to register, but anyone who does not respond could be fined £80.

John Mothersole, Returning Officer for the elections in Sheffield said: “It’s really important that everyone is registered to vote and is able to exercise their democratic rights when the elections take place next year.

“The Government has introduced a new system that places responsibility on individuals to ensure they are registered. It’s a very simple process and will only take a few minutes if your details have not been automatically transferred already.

“If you haven’t received your registration form or may have mislaid it, please register online or contact our electoral services team, who will be pleased to help you so you don’t lose your right to vote.”

In May 2016 there will be elections for all 84 Sheffield City Council ward councillor seats as well as an election for the important role of South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner.