Voters Urged To Register In Time To Have Their Say In May
18th March 2021
On Thursday 6 May residents in the Highlands and Western Isles can have their say on who represents them in the Scottish Parliament.
In order to vote in the election, residents must be on the electoral register. With the deadline to register to vote fast approaching, the Highland & Western Isles Electoral Registration Officer is urging anyone who has not registered at their current address to make sure they are registered in time.
The deadline to register to vote is midnight on Monday 19 April. It takes just five minutes to apply online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
The Scottish Parliament has powers to make laws for Scotland in a range of areas including health, education, housing, justice and the environment.
Bill Gillies, Electoral Registration Officer for Highland & Western Isles said: "This is an opportunity to make your voice heard and have a say on who represents you on issues that directly affect your day-to-day. If you're not registered by 19 April, you won’t be able to vote."
“If you were registered to vote in the last election and your details have not changed, you don’t need to take any action. If in doubt, you can contact us on 0800 393 783.”
Andy O’Neill, Head of the Electoral Commission in Scotland said: “You can’t have your say in these important elections unless you are registered to vote. It’s quick and easy - it takes just five minutes online at www.gov.uk/registertovote (external link).”
“It doesn’t matter where you were born, if you are aged 16 or over and live in Scotland then you can now vote in the Scottish Parliament election. But only if you have registered to vote first.”
Voters have a range of options for casting their ballot – in person, by post or by appointing someone they trust to vote in their place, known as a proxy vote. For those who choose to vote in person, polling stations will be following all public health guidance on 6 May.
The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on 6 April, and for a proxy vote the deadline is 5pm on 27 April.
To vote in a Scottish Parliament election you must be registered to vote in Scotland and aged 16 years or over on the day of the poll. You must also be:
· a British or Irish citizen, or
· a Commonwealth citizen, who has leave to remain in the UK or who does not require leave to remain in the UK, or
· a citizen of another European Union country, or
· a qualifying foreign citizen, who has permission to enter or stay in the UK, or who does not need such permission. Full details on who can vote in elections in Scotland can be found here (external link).
For information on how to register to vote, or how to apply to vote by post or by proxy, voters can visit www.electoralcommission.org.uk/voter (external link). This page will continue to be updated ahead of the polls.
Highland Council has announced that the closing date for applications to the Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Driver Support Fund this scheme has been confirmed as 5pm on Thursday 25 March 2021. The Scottish Government has also now clarified that if you have received a grant through the Taxi Fund this will not now affect any Universal Credit payments you are also receiving.
To meet the growth in visitors to the Highlands of Scotland, The Highland Council's Tourism Committee has agreed a Visitor Management Plan for 2021 which will be adapted to provide a 5-year plan for the future. The Council will work with other agencies involved in tourism and visitor management to deliver the plan.
The Scottish Government has just announced that the Strategic Framework Business Fund grant scheme will close to new applicants on 22 March 2021. The Highland Council has already assessed and approved 5178 applications for this grant fund.
The Highland Council has opened applications for the Highland Employment Recruitment Offer (HERO), which offers grant support of up to £6,000 to help employers meet the cost of recruiting and employing someone who fits the criteria. Full details of the HERO fund can be found on the Highland Council website , and we have summarised the key eligibility criteria below.
The Highland Council will be removing padlocks and any other attachments from the Coghill Bridge at Wick Riverside. These padlocks detract from the historic nature of the bridge as well as causing paint damage and encouraging rust spots to the recently refurbished guard rails.
Highland Council has said that illegal fly-tipping is costing the region's taxpayers thousands and is encouraging people to report anyone they see doing it. Council operatives were alerted to an incident of fly-tipping at the Attadale Estate on the A890 at Strathcarron, where 153 tyres were dumped at the side of the road.
A letter has been distributed today to update parents and carers on the next phase of the re-opening of schools in Highland. The Scottish Government announced last week that more pupils are to return to school (external link) from Monday 15 March.
The Highland Council Trading Standards team have been alerted to a smishing scam that is currently targeting Highland residents. The scam involves a text message claiming to be from Royal Mail advising the recipient that they are holding a piece of mail due to unpaid postage.
The First Minister announced yesterday (2 March 2021) to the Scottish Parliament that all remaining primary school children are to return to school full-time from 15 March, with all secondary pupils returning in some form from the 15 March and until the 2 April. Welcoming the announcement, Chair of the Education Committee, Cllr John Finlayson said: "I am delighted that we can see the return of more of our pupils to school settings in the next couple of weeks.
A visitor management strategy with £1.5 million investments will be at the heart of proposals being considered by Highland Councillors as they decide the local authority's 2021/22 to 2023/24 revenue budget tomorrow (Thursday 4 March 2021). Chair of the Council's Tourism Committee Cllr Gordon Adam said: "Members will be asked to support a long-term Highland Visitor Management Strategy which could provide a range of investment opportunities in roads; parking and visitor management; public toilets; enhanced litter and waste collection services; and provision for motorhomes; and public transport.