All you need to know about the local elections

LOCAL elections are taking place in the Horsham District on Thursday May 5.

All 44 seats at Horsham District Council are being contested whilst all 32 parish councils in the Horsham District are also up for re-election.

There are estimated to be 102,343 people who are eligible to vote in the Horsham District and every one of them will be sent a poll card on 28 March 2011.

The poll card gives details of who is eligible to vote. It also specifies exactly which polling station should be used on 5 May or if the voter has a postal vote.

People voting by post must make sure that their postal vote reaches Horsham District Council by the close of poll on 5 May (10pm). Alternatively, postal votes can be delivered to a polling station in the correct ward.

The close of nominations is noon on Monday 4 April. A full listing of candidates will be available online and at Horsham District Council’s offices at Park North, North Street, Horsham.

Thursday April 14 is the deadline for voters to be on the Electoral Register and therefore eligible to vote on 5 May.

Thursday April 14 is also the last day for postal vote applications or changes to an existing postal or proxy vote. There are estimated to be 15,000 residents who are eligible to use a postal vote (approximately 11 per cent of the electorate).

A week later, April 21, is the last day for proxy vote applications. A proxy vote is when a voter assigns another person to vote on his or her behalf.

Also on April 21, the notice of poll is published. This is when the names of candidates for each ward and parish to be contested will be published.

Postal votes will be delivered to voters from April 14.

On election day (Thursday May 5), there will be 74 polling stations in the Horsham District. Polling stations will be open all day from 7am-10pm.

The count for the elections is taking place at Christ’s Hospital School’s Sports Centre on Friday May 6 starting at 8am. The results of the District Council elections should be available from around 4pm on Friday May 6.

The results will be posted at Horsham District Council’s offices at Park North, North Street, Horsham. Results will also be available online.

It is likely a referendum of the voting system at a parliamentary election will be held on the same day at all polling stations. The poll card will give information on voting. Timings for registration and postal vote will be the same as the local elections. The local referendum will be declared early in the evening on May 6, 2011.

Further information about the local elections on May 5 is available online at www.horsham.gov.uk, by calling 01403 215126 or by email: elections@horsham.gov.uk