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Make sure you're registered to vote in May elections

Residents are being urged to ensure they are registered to vote in elections on May 4, when voters will go to the polls to elect new North Yorkshire County Councillors.

The four-yearly elections will cover all 72 County Council seats across 68 divisions, including the seven divisions in the Craven district; Airedale, Mid-Craven, North Craven, Ribblesdale, Skipton East, Skipton West and South Craven.

But before election day there are important dates for anyone who is not yet registered to vote, or who will not be able to vote in person on the day.

Thousands of county residents who are eligible to vote are not registered. If you are not already on the electoral register, you have until April 13 to register or you will not have a vote.

If you have not received a poll card by March 28, you may not be registered. To register, visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote or contact your district council.

For people who are registered to vote, but who will not be able to attend a polling station on May 4, deadlines are also approaching for the submission of postal vote and proxy vote applications. People have until 5pm on Tuesday, 18 April, to apply for a postal vote and until 5pm on Tuesday, 25 April, for a proxy vote. Again, your district council can help.

North Yorkshire County Council Chief Executive Richard Flinton said: "We would urge all eligible residents to ensure that they are registered to vote and to use their vote in the County Council elections on 4 May. The authority is responsible for many everyday services, including social services for adults and children, roads and public health.  Your vote gives you a say in the shape of the authority at a time of continuing change, as we meet severe financial pressures and transform the way services are delivered, working increasingly closely with communities and other partners."

Paul Shevlin, chief executive at Craven District Council, said: "We want everyone in the district to have the chance to use their vote.

"I would urge anyone who has not done so already, to register now so they can exercise their democratic right and have a say in the running of our county."

Anyone who wants to stand as a candidate in the May 4 election must submit their nomination by 4pm on Tuesday, April 4.

More information about the elections, including all the key dates in the run-up to the vote on 4 May, can be found on the county council website, www.northyorks.gov.uk/elections

To register to vote, go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote or call 01756 700600 for more information.