Time ticking down for postal votes

Somerset residents planning to vote by post in the 5 May local elections have just a week left to submit their application.

Voters must complete the form and make sure it is received by the electoral services team in their local district council – Mendip, Sedgemoor, Somerset West and Taunton, or South Somerset – by 5pm on Tuesday 19 April.

The Easter Bank Holiday break is this weekend so please bear that in mind if you have not yet returned your application as postal services may be affected.

The application form includes guidance on how to fill it in correctly. You will need to provide your date of birth and your signature to confirm your identity. If you want to cancel your postal vote you must contact your district council electoral services team before 5pm on 19 April.

If you will not be at your address to get your postal vote you can apply for a proxy vote. This allows you to ask someone you trust to cast your vote for you. The deadline to apply is 5pm on Tuesday 26 April. Your completed application must be sent to your local district council’s electoral services team.

These are crucial elections for Somerset with the creation of a new, unitary council in April 2023 – the first major change to the way the county is governed in almost 50 years. New councillors will build a new and very different kind of local government, that will shape the county for decades.

For their first year, the councillors will take responsibility for all current County Council services and oversee the local government reorganisation to establish a single unitary council on 1 April 2023.

From 1 April 2023, the 110 councillors of the unitary council will be responsible for services that are currently delivered by the county and four district councils, ranging from adults and children’s social care to highways and housing, and from libraries to planning and licensing.

City, town, and parish council elections also take place on 5 May.