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Residents urged to register to vote

Hundreds of people who are yet to register to vote are being urged to do so by Malvern Hills District Council.

Reminder letters are being sent to 34,000 households across the district from 9 July asking them to confirm who should be registered on the electoral roll at that address.

It is a legal requirement for every household to respond, even if only to confirm the details held are correct. The deadline for responses is 30 July.

Those that don't reply not only risk missing out on the chance to have their say in next year's Police and Crime Commissioner election on 5 May, but a potential referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union later in the year as well.

A failure to register to vote can also affect people's ability to get a mortgage or mobile phone contract as the electoral register is used by Credit Reference Agencies to help work out someone's credit rating.

Last year a new system of registration was introduced which meant individuals were responsible for ensuring they were on the electoral roll whereas previously it was down to the head of the household to do it on their behalf.

So far 98.46 per cent of people on the electoral register have been transferred over to the new system but there are still 941 who have yet to do so or need to provide more information to support their application.

On top of that, anyone moving house or registering to vote for the first time will need to do so under the new system.

Jack Hegarty, chief executive of Malvern Hills District Council, said: "I'd urge everyone to ensure they are registered to vote so they can have their say on important issues affecting them in 2016 as well as to maximise their credit score and reduce the costs to their council of sending statutory reminders."

To register to vote visit www.gov.uk/registertovote or call the elections team at Malvern Hills District Council on 01684 862200. Anyone that does not receive a letter should email elections@malvernhills.gov.uk or call the number above