On November 15, voters in the Thames Valley Police area will go to the polls to elect their first police and crime commissioner. In order to produce a Register of Electors in time for this election, the annual household canvass will take place in early summer rather than the autumn.
Alison Wood, Wokingham Borough Council electoral services manager, said: "Residents are reminded that it is still a legal requirement for households to complete and return the form. Forms are being sent out this week before the school holidays begin; we would ask that people return it before they go on holiday and no later than August 27, after which the law requires us to send personal canvassers to call at non-responding properties. This will obviously cost more for the council, and therefore the council tax payer.
"We recently prosecuted repeat offenders for refusing to return last year’s form – we would emphasise that this was a last resort, however we all have to pay through our council tax for those people who don’t bother, so please send it back immediately and then you know it is done.
"This year residents will be given the option to ask that their personal details are not sold and to opt-out of the Edited Register on a permanent basis. This can be done either on a form that will accompany the canvass form or at any time by writing to the Electoral Registration Officer at the council offices.
"We know that residents sometimes have questions about when or how to complete the form – their questions can be answered either by calling our helpline on (0118) 974 6522 or 6523 or by coming to our public counter at the Civic Offices, Shute End."