On 7 May voters will take to the ballot boxes to have their say on who they want to represent them and make the big decisions that will affect us all.
Those decisions may be over the levels of tax you have to pay, the amount of money to be spent on national services such as health and education, while more locally it may be about how a council spends money to promote jobs growth, deliver much needed affordable housing, or to provide community facilities such as parks and leisure services.
The General election will decide the balance of power in Parliament, while 7 May will also see voters decide who they want to represent them in the council chambers of Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council. Parish and town council elections will take place on the same day.
If you don’t vote, then you don’t have a voice in all of these democratic decisions – but in order to vote you will need to register.
“Every decision made nationally or locally is the result of democracy – the right for us all collectively to have our say on how our country, our borough or district, or even our town or parish is run,” said Cllr Stephen Edwards, Cabinet Member for Resources, Governance and Performance at Forest Heath District Council. “There is little worse than when someone complains about how the Government, or a council is being run, and in the next breath says they cannot be bothered to vote. Apathy is no excuse.”
Cllr David Ray, Cabinet Member for Resources and Performance said: “Politics plays a role in every aspect of your life from the moment you wake up until the time you close your eyes once more - from housing, to work, to the amount of money you have to spare when you go shopping, the roads you drive your car on, the places where you go to relax at weekends. Too many people fail to engage in politics. People worldwide have fought and died for democracy – it shouldn’t be taken for granted. If you don’t like the choice of candidates then convince someone else that you could support to stand, or perhaps stand as a candidate yourself.”
To register to vote visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
Alternatively you can email firstname.lastname@example.org phone Ken Crow on 01638 719364 or write to Ken Crow, Electoral Services Manager, at either Forest Heath District Council, College Heath Road, Mildenhall, Suffolk, IP28 7EY, or at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, West Suffolk House, Western Way, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 3YU.