Councillors from Mid Devon have today marked the start of the Vote for Women Centenary Celebrations which take place throughout the year.
Members met with staff at Tiverton Museum on the day which, 100 years ago, saw the Representation of the People Act 1918 achieve Royal Assent. This was the start of the process to allow women the right to vote in 1918.
Chris Daw, ward member for Cranmore, said: “It is so vital that women have a say in shaping our nation, from a local level in our towns and parishes, all the way up to Central Government and on the world stage. Women before us paid a heavy price to give us the vote today and we should relish the chance to have our opinion heard. Even today women can be seen as the underdogs whose opinion is less valued, but the right to vote gives us an equal voice and we should use that voice.”
While Tiverton Museum is currently short of artefacts from the Suffragette movement they would welcome input from the community throughout this year of centenary celebrations.
Pippa Griffith, Museum Director, said ‘We are delighted to mark this historic occasion. Unfortunately we don’t have anything in the collections relating to the women’s suffrage movement but we would love to hear from anyone who has any item with a local connection!”
The Council is also using the day to remind people to register to vote.
Mid Devon District Council’s Returning Officer, Jill May, said: “Local democracy is at the heart of what we do as a district council. The more people who are registered to vote and use this opportunity to exercise their opinion the more representative of the people the council will be. People lead busy lives but registering to vote only takes a few minutes and on days like today, when we remember what people had to endure in order to secure the right to vote, this seems a small task in comparison.”
Resident’s must be on the Register of Electors in order to vote. If you’re not sure whether your name is on the register, you can contact the Council via firstname.lastname@example.org or pop into reception at Phoenix House, Tiverton.
If you find out that you’re not included on the register, you can either register online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote or request a form directly from the Council.
Tiverton Museum has now re-opened after the winter break with a temporary exhibition on the local legacies of the transatlantic slave trade. The exhibition runs until the 24 March, and the museum is running two related talks on the 22 February and the 22 March which will examine Devon’s links to the slave trade with the second talk looking specifically at Mid Devon.
For more information about the museum visit: www.tivertonmuseum.org.uk
To read more about voting at Mid Devon District Council visit: www.middevon.gov.uk/your-council/voting-elections/
Further celebrations by Mid Devon District Council to mark the centenary will be held throughout the year.
Member since: 27th February 2014
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