A GOVERNMENT-led drive to ensure as many people as possible are on the electoral register is being backed by the leader of Derbyshire County Council.
Councillor Anne Western is urging people who are eligible to vote to make sure they’re registered as the launch of a £4.2m Government fund to encourage under-represented groups is rolled out.
The fund was set up after national research confirmed that certain groups, including young people aged 16 to 24 and people in social housing were less likely to be on the electoral roll.
Now community organisations across the country are being invited to bid for cash from the fund to deliver innovative projects aimed at getting more people on the electoral register.
Councillor Western said: “It’s important that everyone in our communities has a voice – and one way people can make their voice heard is by voting in local and general elections.
“If you’re not on the electoral register you can’t vote.
“But it could also have an impact on things like your credit rating and your application for a mobile phone contract.
“We’d urge everyone eligible to vote to make sure they’re registered to do so – including 16 and 17 year-olds entitled to vote in the next election.
“Tough times lie ahead for local people.
“There’s no doubt the Coalition Government’s spending cuts are going to bite hard.
“That’s why we want to put communities at the heart of decision-making.
“That means talking to local people about issues affecting them before decisions are made.
“What they think matters to us.”
People are currently registered on the roll by household, with the head of a household responsible for ensuring all eligible voters are included but in future, everyone will be expected to register individually, providing identification such as their National Insurance number.