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03 February 2015
May Elections

Have your Say: National Voter Registration Day

Bedford Borough Council is encouraging any local residents not yet registered to vote to take advantage of National Voter Registration Day on 5 February and go online now to register.

There are fewer than 100 days until Bedford voters go to the polls to elect Member of Parliament, Mayoral election for Bedford Borough, local council elections and town and parish elections on the same day. Anyone not registered can do so at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

Bedford Borough Council is running a number of activities to encourage residents to register. These include manning stalls at the University of Bedford all day on 5 Feb, at Bedford College in the morning on 5 Feb, at Bedford 6th Form on 5 Feb and at the Howard Centre on Saturday 7 Feb.

Philip Simpkins, Chief Executive of Bedford Borough Council, said “Anyone not yet registered to vote should do so as soon as possible in order for them to be able to have their say on issues that affect their lives. I’d urge Bedford Borough residents to use National Voter Registration Day to spread the message amongst family and friends who may not have registered yet that it only takes a few minutes to complete the form online.”

Kay Jenkins, Head of English regions at the Electoral Commission, said: “National Voter Registration Day exists because it’s important that anyone who’s eligible to be on the register, but has not yet registered, does so. Young people, students and people who move frequently are much less likely to be registered to vote. We’re urging them to use the day as an opportunity to get onto the electoral register.”

From the week commencing 2 February all households in Bedford Borough will receive a letter confirming who is registered under the new individual electoral registration process at that address. Anyone living at the property, but who are not on the electoral register, should register to vote at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

On 7 May 2015 elections will be taking place across Bedford Borough.  Elections will be held for the UK Parliament and the Mayor of Bedford, along with elections of all Borough Councillors.  All 46 Parish Councils will also hold elections on 7 May.

Information on the elections and links to the election timetable, applications to register to vote and to change your current voting arrangements, are all available on at www.bedford.gov.uk/elections2015

Information on Elections:

Parliamentary Elections

A General Election is now held once every five years on the first Thursday in May following the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 coming into force.  All Members of Parliament are elected at the same time.  If a seat falls vacant between the elections, then a by-election is held in that particular constituency.

The Bedford Borough area is divided into three parliamentary constituencies; Bedford, North East Bedfordshire and Mid Bedfordshire with Bedford Borough responsible for administering the elections for Bedford and North East Bedfordshire Constituencies.

Citizens of the European Union (with the exception of Cyprus, Malta and the Republic of Ireland) are not eligible to vote in the UK Parliamentary elections, but can vote in the local elections below.

Mayoral Elections

Bedford Borough Council is one of only 15 Councils in the country (outside of London) to have a Directly Elected Mayor. Mayoral elections in the UK use the Supplementary Vote (SV) system.  Under SV, voters can select their first and second preference out of the list of candidates.

Borough Council Elections

Bedford Borough Council has 40 elected Borough Councillors each representing 1 of 27 Wards within the Bedford Borough Area.  Electors vote for the candidates who are standing for the ward they are registered within. www.bedford.gov.uk/council_and_democracy/elections/polling_district_and_places.aspx

Parish Council Elections

Parish Council elections are held every 4 years, and coincide with both the Mayoral and Borough Council Elections.  Parish Council's primarily comprise of the villages in the area, but can also be large areas such as Brickhill or Kempston Town. Elections will also take place to the newly formed Wixams Parish Council.

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