The names have been published of the candidates nominated to stand in the upcoming Hampshire County Council elections, to be held on Thursday 4 May 2017.
A county-wide election takes place every four years and voters in all 76 electoral divisions choose who they want to run the range of essential local services that impact on all aspects of everyday life for 1.3 million people living in the Hampshire County Council area - from education, roads and social care for vulnerable children and adults, to access to the countryside and libraries.
Two divisions elect two councillors, due to the size of the electorate, so Hampshire County Council consists of 78 councillors. Councillors represent all the people within their divisions, decide how £1.9 billion of taxpayers’ money is spent each year, and make the policies to secure high quality services for the residents of, and visitors to Hampshire. Councillors provide a focus for local people when they have concerns or want things done, using their local knowledge of the area and the issues affecting residents to help the County Council make decisions and check the quality of services it delivers.
District councils administer the County Council’s four-yearly elections on behalf of John Coughlan, the County Returning Officer and County Council Chief Executive. Therefore, polling cards, and applications for postal and proxy votes will be issued by district councils for residents living in their area.
John Coughlan, said: “There is just over a week until the deadline for residents to register to vote in the upcoming County Council elections. Therefore, I would urge anyone who has not already done so, to go online to register, or contact their local borough or district council - and add their name to the electoral register, as the last date for registration is Thursday 13 April. This ensures that you will be eligible to cast your vote on 4 May.
“County Council elections enable the democratic process to take place and provide an opportunity for members of the public to have their say at the ballot box. I would encourage everyone who is entitled to vote, to turn out on 4 May and choose who they wish to represent them on the County Council.”
To be eligible to vote and have your say in the County Council elections, residents must be on the electoral register, having registered by Thursday 13 April.
To register, visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote (you will need your national insurance number). If you don’t have internet access, then contact your local district or borough council.
If you cannot get to the polling station on election day, you can still vote by post or appoint someone (a proxy) to vote on your behalf. Contact the district or borough council for your area, and they can send you a form.
For anyone wishing to cast their vote by post, applications for postal votes must also be received by district and borough councils by 5pm on Tuesday 18 April.
For proxy vote applications, the deadline is 5pm on Tuesday 25 April.
Counting will take place by district and borough councils, at locations across Hampshire’s 11 districts. Up-to-the minute results as each division is declared will be available on the County Council’s elections webpages at www.hants.gov.uk/aboutthecouncil/electionsandvoting. The earliest results are expected in the early hours of Friday 5 May after the polling stations close at 10pm on Thursday 4 May.
The full County Council will meet for the first time after the elections on Thursday 25 May, at which time the new Administration is formally established. The first meeting of the Cabinet will take place on 19 June.
The current political make-up of the County Council, following the last elections in May 2013 and five by-elections, is:
Conservatives – 47
Liberal Democrats – 16
UKIP – 7
Labour – 4
Community Campaign (Hart) – 1
Non-affiliated – 2
Vacant - 1
Information for residents about how to vote, how to register for a vote or check if you are already registered, is available from the Electoral Commission via www.yourvotematters.co.uk or telephone 0333 103 1928. The two divisions that elect two councillors are: Leesland & Town (Gosport) and Fareham Town.