Page 20 - Forest Row Local March Edition
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 20 March 2021 • Forest Row Local
COMMUNITYSpotlight Looking ahead to May 6, 2021
May 6, 2021 will be a busy time for local elections in Wealden with voting scheduled to take place for seats on East Sussex County Council, the post of the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, as well as a number of vacant seats on Wealden District Council.
“On current advice, we are expecting all our usual polling stations to be open,” said Wealden’s Returning Officer, Trevor Scott. “Arrangements are being put in place to ensure voters and polling station staff are safe from any Covid infection. But there will also be the opportunity to vote by post or proxy.
“Information about both ways of voting can be found on the elections pages of the Wealden website. If you’re thinking about voting by post, you can apply now. This will make sure the application is processed early.”
A letter confirming your 2021 Voter Registration is being sent to every property in the District this month. This letter lists the names of people registered to vote at the property and their current voting method. If there are changes to be made to any of the details, such as new people moving in, or people who would like
a postal vote application sent to them, please respond in one of the ways set out in the letter. If all the details are correct, then no response is needed.
“The choice of how to vote at next May’s elections is yours – you can have your say in person, by post or by proxy,” adds Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance at
the Electoral Commission. “If you’re thinking about voting by post, you can apply now. This will make sure your application is processed early, and your postal vote can be sent to you more quickly. It’s easy to apply.”
However you intend to vote, you will need to be registered on the Wealden Electoral Roll. In spite of Covid, Wealden’s elections team was able to complete the annual electoral registration process
last autumn, with many voters using the internet to ensure their details were up to date.
If you are new or returning to the District, or were unable to respond to our canvass of voters, you can you can register to vote online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote .
Don’t lose your right to have your say. Further information about forthcoming elections in Wealden in 2021 be found on the Voting and Elections pages of the Wealden website.
 Public involvement in the planning process
Wealden District Council has received nearly 1,700 responses to its recent Local Plan Direction of Travel consultation. Some 300 people took part in the consultation which had been extended from six to eight weeks to take account of the Christmas break. “Residents and businesses were
asked to comment on ten different themes including climate change, infrastructure, housing requirement, conservation and sustainable business growth,” said Councillor Ann Newton, Cabinet member for Planning and Development.
“I am really pleased with the level of interest the consultation has received. The comments and suggestions will help guide our Local Plan policy, along with evidence provided by our partners and stakeholders. I would like to
thank everyone who took part. Their involvement is an invaluable part of the process.
“The changes we have seen over
the past year in working patterns, as well as the effect Covid has had on
our local leisure and retail sectors, have underlined the need to create a strong, resilient local economy that makes the most of the District’s natural attractions. We will also be looking to make sure the Local Plan fully supports our climate change goal of becoming a zero-carbon district.”
All the responses received during the consultation will be published on the Council’s Local Plan Consultation Portal following consideration. They will be used in drawing up Wealden’s Draft Local Plan, which is expected to be ready for further consultation in spring 2022.
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