North Yorkshire residents are urged to make their vote count in forthcoming elections for county councillors who will shape services affecting everyone across the county.
On Thursday, 5 May, residents will be able to vote for the person they want to represent them among the 90 councillors who will be elected to 89 new divisions.
The councillors will serve the final year of the county council and will then be the voice of the people for the first four years of the new single council. They will shape what public services will look like ahead of the new North Yorkshire Council’s first day on 1 April 2023, making decisions that affect everyone living and working in North Yorkshire.
Richard Flinton, returning officer and chief executive of North Yorkshire County Council, said: “If safe communities and thriving business matter to you, or services like schools, social care, housing, planning, roads, waste management and leisure, then it is really important that you take part in these elections. The people elected will determine the vision and values of the new North Yorkshire Council from the beginning.”
In July 2021, the Government announced that a new single council would be created to deliver all services across North Yorkshire on the footprint of the current county council. Confirmation that the county council elections will take place on 5 May follows Parliament’s approval of the Structural Changes Order, the legal process necessary for the formation of a single council to replace the eight current authorities.
District and borough councils will remain until 1 April, 2023, and the councillors serving on those councils will continue in their roles until that date.
Mr Flinton added: “I thank the electoral service teams from all districts within the county who are working hard to plan the practical arrangements, particularly the efforts going into making sure covid-safe contingencies are considered to keep colleagues and voters safe. This collaboration is nothing new, but as chief returning officer I’m extremely grateful for the elections managers and officers who are committed to the safe and legal delivery of these crucial elections.”
The Structural Changes Order also enables parish elections to be held on the same day as the county elections, which for some is earlier than previously expected, so that all local elections can be aligned in the county.
To vote in the county council elections on 5 May, you must be on the electoral register by Thursday 14 April 2022. If you will be 18 or over on polling day, make sure you are registered to vote at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. You can get help with electoral registration by contacting your borough or district council. They can tell you if you are on the electoral register, or if you have registered for a postal or proxy vote.
People living in North Yorkshire who are on the electoral register will receive a polling card or letter during the last two weeks in March.
If you know that you will not be able to get to the polling station on 5 May, you can apply to vote by post or proxy. You need to contact your borough or district council to apply for a postal vote. You will need to complete and return your application by 5pm on Tuesday 19 April.
A proxy vote is when you apply for someone you trust to vote for you, but they must be eligible to vote in the election themselves. If you apply for a proxy vote, the person voting on your behalf can go to the polling station to cast your vote or can apply to vote for you by post. You need to contact your borough or district council to apply for a proxy vote. You will need to complete and return your application by Tuesday 26 April.
You can see the new electoral divisions and find out more about the May county council elections, including how to register for a postal or proxy vote, at www.northyorks.gov.uk/elections
Find out more about becoming a candidate at www.northyorks.gov.uk/candidates