Councillor Renard’s Swindon Advertiser column 11th May 2017

Councillor David Renard, Leader of the Council

Parish Council Elections

Last Thursday, 4th May, 65 local people were elected by residents as parish councillors for the Central Swindon South; Central Swindon North; Nythe, Eldene, and Liden; St Andrews; and West Swindon parishes.  I would like to congratulate all those councillors who were elected and to wish them well as they embark on their roles of serving local communities.

I am pleased that across Swindon there was a wide range of candidates, not just those from the usual political parties but also independents.  The majority of parish councillors won their seats in competitive elections and in some wards the turnout was as good as or better than that for Borough Council elections.

If you would like to attend any parish council meeting or would like more details of the parish councils, you can find them through the Borough Council’s website, although they are independent local councils.

We had a good team of staff to manage the polling stations and undertake the count, many of whom will be back in a few weeks for the General Election.  I would just like to remind everyone of some of the key deadlines so that all those who want to take part can do so.

Have you registered to vote?

The last date to register as an elector is 22nd May and you can register online here: www.swindon.gov.uk/registertovote  You will need your date of birth and National Insurance number.  If you do not have access to a computer, you can apply in person by coming to the Civic Offices, Euclid Street SN1 2JH during office hours, or email customerservices@swindon.gov.uk, or you can call our Customer Services team on 01793 445500.

The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm, 23rd May, while the latest you can apply for a proxy vote is 5pm 31st May.

I recommend that you do not leave your applications to the last minute, since these are statutory deadlines and we cannot change them.

On Thursday 8th June, you will have from 7 in the morning to 10pm to cast your vote.  I would encourage people not to leave voting to the last minute; a polling station is most definitely not like a supermarket where we can open up extra booths if there is a sudden demand.

You do not need your poll card to vote but it does help if you take this along.  However, you will need to make sure you go to the right polling station as this may not be the one that is closest to where you live.  If you are not certain of where to go, please email us on customerservices@swindon.gov.uk or call on the number above.  It would speed things up if you have your postcode to hand when you call.