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Time running out to register to vote for council elections in Wales

13 Apr 2022 3 minutes Read
Polling station. Picture by the Welsh Government

There are just over 24 hours left to register to vote in the council elections across Wales.

Elections are taking place on May 5 in each of the four nations, with every council seat in Wales up for grabs.

But people who have not yet registered to vote, or are not sure if they are eligible, have not long to apply as in Wales the deadline to register is 11.59pm on 14 April.

For the first time this year, all legal residents of Wales who are aged 16 or over on polling day are eligible to vote in the local elections, whereas previously only British, Irish, Commonwealth and European citizens aged over 18 could vote.

Craig Westwood, director of communications at the Electoral Commission, said: “There is only a matter of hours left to register to vote ahead of the May elections.

“If you want to make sure your voice is heard and you’re not already registered, it’s really important that you go online and register now at https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

“It only takes five minutes – so the next time you are waiting for the kettle to boil you can register to vote. All you need is your name, date of birth and national insurance number.”

Responsibilities

Councils or local authorities are responsible for a wide range of local statutory and non-statutory services

According to the Welsh Local Government Association, Wales’ councils provide more than 700 local services and the decisions they make have a huge impact on people’s day-to-day lives, including in matters of:

Education, housing, Social Services, Highways and Transport, Waste Management, Leisure and Cultural Services, Consumer Protection, Planning, Economic Development and Emergency Planning

Local authorities are mainly funded through council tax and a block grant from the Welsh Government and with UK Government grants issued directly to Welsh councils for local projects.

While business rates, or non-domestic rates, are collected by councils, the revenue raised goes to a centralised pot to be redistributed through the Welsh Government’s block grant and the percentage of council tax is set by individual councils on an annual basis

Community councils are funded by a levy in addition to their county borough council tax. Areas that do not have a community council do not pay the additional fee.

The area a local authority covers is split into wards, and the number of councillors elected will depend on the population of the ward.

Dates

Here are the key dates in the countdown to polling day on May 5:

– April 14: Deadline in Wales to register to vote.

– April 19: Deadline in Wales to apply for a postal vote.

– April 26: Deadline in Wales to apply for a proxy vote.

– May 5: Election day. Polls open from 7am to 10pm.

The first results are expected overnight on the 5/6 May but may take longer in some areas.


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