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LETTER: It should be compulsory to register if you want to get council services

Opinion

Opinion

The Cabinet Office and the Electoral Commission are just about to make some of the most fundamental changes that we have seen in voting in the last hundred years.

From June 10, there is a new system of voter registration being brought in for England and Wales.

You will be now able to register online by visiting www.gov.uk/register-to-vote and we hope to see as many people in Boston sign up as possible.

Boston Labour councillors are advocating a radical change - that everybody who wishes to receive a council service such as, having your dustbin collected, get married, register on the housing list, register your child for a school place, apply for council tax rebate, that they should, if eligible, be also on the electoral register.

We believe that if you wish to receive a service from the council you should register yourself first.

This is not saying that you have to vote, but you do actually already have a legal duty to register even though councils do not often enforce this.

We believe that by everybody registering on the electoral register, we should then better understand the number of people that live in our town.

At the present time, thousands of people do not register which means that Boston does not receive its fair share of grants or financial support from the government.

This in turn means that we are underfunded as a council which affects the kind of services that the people of Boston wish to see being provided.

If you wish to see good police services, good education, good health services and good housing, it is reasonable that we tell people that without registering with Boston Borough Council on the Electoral Register we won’t be awarded the correct amount of funding to enable us to provide good services.

This is about getting all adults in our town to commit themselves to being members of our local community so we know the real number of people that live in our town.

Boston Labour councillors will be campaigning to see this implemented using the Localism Bill and the Sustainable Communities Act which will enable us to make this a local choice for Boston, in a similar way to the new drinking ban order.

It is time for Boston to lead the way on these issues to make sure that our town is respected and moves forward for the future.

Boston Labour councillors

 

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