Kate writes a bi-weekly column for the Burton Mail. This column was originally featured in the 11th February print edition.
Elections. Whether you get as excited about them as Jeremy Vine with a swing-o-meter or sympathise with Brenda from Bristol and sigh “not another one”, they are important.
It is that time again, well almost. Last week the Cabinet Office confirmed that the local elections on Thursday 6th May will take place as scheduled. These elections are important as they will decide who makes the local decisions affecting our community and who runs the local services we all care about.
In Staffordshire, we have County Council elections as well as the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner poll which was postponed from May 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. By this May we will be in a very different place, and the Government has also made clear that it intends for everyone in the top nine priority groups to have been vaccinated by this point.
The Government is also making a number of temporary changes to the election process to ensure democracy can take place in a covid-secure way. This includes ensuring voters and poll clerks wear a face covering at polling stations, social distancing is observed and that voters are asked to take along their own pen or pencil to vote.
The Government is also encouraging as many people as possible to get a postal vote and apply early so they are able to vote from the comfort of their own home. This will also mean fewer people needing to visit a polling station to vote in person. Applying for a postal vote is quick and easy and I would encourage everyone in Burton and Uttoxeter to do so and that they exercise their right to vote.
Anyone who is registered to vote can apply for a postal vote and voters have the option of requesting a postal vote until further notice (a permanent postal vote) or solely for this election, or for a particular time period.
If you would like to apply for a postal vote for these elections you can download an application form from East Staffordshire Borough Council’s website: www.eaststaffsbc.gov.uk/elections/proxy-postal-votes. Alternately, you can contact the Electoral Services team at ESBC for assistance on 01283 508376.