Hartlepool residents urged to use their vote in next week’s Local Elections

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HARTLEPOOL residents are being urged to use their vote in next week’s Local Elections after figures show just a quarter of people voted last time round.

The call comes from Hartlepool Borough Council’s returning officer Peter Devlin with statistics revealing only 26 per cent of those on the electoral register voted at the last local elections in 2012.

Hartlepool Civic Centre.

Hartlepool Civic Centre.

This time round, a total of 49 candidates are standing on Thursday, May 22 to be elected as a Hartlepool councillor, the same day as elections for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). One councillor will be elected to each of the 11 wards in Hartlepool and will serve for a term of four years.

Officials say there are 57 polling stations which will be open continuously from 7am to 10pm on May 22.

Mr Devlin said: “I think it’s very important for people to exercise their right to vote as this gives them the opportunity to influence decisions which affect their local area.

“How people vote can impact on the way that public money is spent which in turn affects how our libraries, leisure centres, roads, parks and social care services are run, so it is very important.”

In total, the Borough Council comprises 33 council seats with one-third of the seats up for election each year for three years out of four. For the European Parliament elections, the North-East returns three MEPs and elections are held every five years.

For more information people are asked to call the Elections Office at the Civic Centre on (01429) 523088 or e-mail elections@hartlepool.gov.uk

l The Mail’s ward by ward election coverage will continue on Monday with the focus switching to Seaton.