NOW is the time to register if you want to vote in the local elections on 2nd May

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Deadline to register for the May 2019 local elections: Friday 12 April.

To be able to vote, you have to be on the electoral register and to do that, you have to fill in a simple online form. Completing other official paperwork, such as getting a passport, paying Council Tax or getting a driving license doesn’t result in you being automatically added to the register. It is a separate process.

You only need to register once; you don’t need to register separately for every election. However, you do need to register again if you change your address, name or nationality.

You have to be 18 on polling day to vote (or 16 for Scottish Parliament and local elections, along with some but not all referendums). For that reason, you can register in advance of your 18th birthday so that if an election is called whilst you are under-age but you will be 18 on polling day, you can therefore still get your vote.

EU citizens are able to vote in the UK by the way – for council elections although not for the Westminster Parliamentary elections. Commonwealth and Irish citizens can also register to vote and they’re allowed to vote in all types of elections.

To register online right now, head over to the official registration site.

If voting in person isn’t the right option for you, either for a temporary or permanent reason, then once who are on the register you can also apply for a postal vote.

or appoint someone to vote on your behalf (a proxy vote).

Tory MP complains that Government isn’t giving Brexit bribes to South West MPs – because the region voted Conservative!

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The Government has announced its bribes to towns in order to persuade MPs, mainly Labour, to vote for its miserable Brexit deal. Although it claims to have used a “need-based formula,” the South West is to receive the second-lowest allocation of cash (£33 million) despite being among England’s most deprived regions. Coincidentally, it also has very few Labour MPs — and Sheryll Murray, the Tory MP for South East Cornwall, appears to have spotted the discrepancy. “The fact this money appears to be directly routed to Labour-voting areas smacks of pork-barrel politics, and the public will know that,” Murray complains to The Times. “It would be a crying shame if Conservative-voting communities were being disadvantaged because of the way they voted.”

Devon’s food supply, NHS, farming, etc. are dangerously exposed to No Deal Brexit – the County Council must tell Theresa May on Thursday to stop this irresponsible course of action

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There are mounting fears that if Theresa May allows a ‘No Deal’ Brexit to happen on 29th March, Devon will suffer serious harm including:

  • shortages of imported foods, especially as Devon is near the end of many supply lines
  • escalating staff shortages in the NHS and social care as European nurses and care workers are deterred from coming to take up jobs
  • shortage of workers in the tourism and hospitality sectors – and care workers migrating to these jobs because of higher pay
  • thousands of tons of animal feed blocked from coming in through Plymouth
  • lamb exports to Europe prevented by Brexit red tape
  • exporting businesses unprepared for the extra bureaucracy
  • more business failures over the next year or so (Brexit has already been implicated in the Flybe, Barden, Ambrosia and Appledore crises).

After Devon County Council leader John Hart said in January that the council ‘hadn’t got a clue yet‘ about planning for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit, its chief executive was appointed by the Government – with barely 6 weeks to go before the UK crashed out of the EU – to coordinate local government responses in the South West. But whatever councils do at this late stage, they can only mitigate, not prevent, the likely harms.

Even if No Deal is averted, Brexit has already led to an economic slowdown and job losses, as well as discrimination against Europeans living in Devon. Exit on the terms agreed by May will be less bad than No Deal, but far worse than the bespoke membership of the EU which the UK currently has. When County Councillors consider the situation on Thursday, they have a duty to tell May to take urgent steps to prevent No Deal – and allow the public to vote on whether they want her Brexit or her remain in the EU.

School students’ climate protest in Exeter – we are following up at the County Council on Thursday

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After hundreds joined the protest in Exeter yesterday (Devonlive picture) on Thursday I shall be seconding Green county councillor Jacqi Hodgson’s motion that Devon declare a ‘climate emergency’ (item 20 on the agenda).

Poll shows that @ClaireWrightInd could oust Tory @HugoSwire in a 2019 General Election

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Claire Wright

In a fantastic boost for the chances that East Devon will soon have an Independent MP, a YouGov poll which interviewed 40,000 people nationwide tips the East Devon constituency (including Exmouth, Sidmouth, Budleigh Salterton and Ottery St Mary) as the one seat in Devon that the Tories would lose if a General Election were held now. (Alas, Seaton and Colyton are not in this constituency.)

Claire, who is my Independent colleague on the County Council, increased her vote by 8,000 in 2017. She now needs a 6.7 per cent swing to win. The results last time show that Labour and the LibDems cannot win, and that Claire is the pro-NHS, pro-Europe candidate to support in East Devon.

2017 RESULTEAST DEVONVOTES%CHANGE +/- %
ConservativeHugo Swire29,30648.5+2.1
IndependentClaire Wright21,27035.2+11.2
LabourJan Ross6,85711.4+1.1
Liberal DemocratAlison Eden1,4682.4-4.4
UKIPBrigitte Graham1,2032.0-10.6
IndependentPeter Faithfull1500.2+0.2
IndependentMichael Val Davies1280.2+0.2