11 weeks until local election polling day

Apply for your postal vote!

I always enjoy meeting people at the polls but for many, a postal vote is the easiest way to get your vote in if you are likely to be out of the area or tied up at work.

Now is the time to apply for a postal vote.

The easiest and simplest way to vote is by post.

If you sign up for a postal vote your ballot paper will be delivered to your house by the postman a couple of weeks before polling day. You can vote in the comfort of your own home, at a time that suits you. Then you put your completed ballot paper in the envelope provided and stick it in the  post – you don’t even need a stamp.  It couldn’t be easier.

This is the link to the Grampian Electoral Registration Office Postal Vote application form:


Please fill in and return the form today to make sure that whatever happens on polling day you don’t miss out on your chance to vote. 

Is your polling station accessible?


In accordance with Section 18 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 (as amended by Section 17 of the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013), Aberdeenshire Council is conducting a review of polling districts, polling places and polling stations within the UK parliamentary constituencies of Banff and Buchan, Gordon and West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine. The purpose of the review is to ensure reasonable facilities for voting and that polling places are accessible to all electors, including voters with a disability, so far as is practicable. Those who wish to make representations regarding existing polling arrangements should, where possible, offer alternative venues which may be used as polling places.

Details of current polling places and polling districts can be found online at www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/elections, together with relevant maps and other statistical information. Representations should be made in writing (by post or by email) to the address below by Tuesday 17th December 2013.


Election Unit, Aberdeenshire Council, Woodhill House, Westburn Road,

Aberdeen, AB16 5GB

Telephone 01224 665119



IMPORTANT – Don’t lose your right to vote by post!

postal vote
If you receive a letter shortly from the Grampian Electoral Registration Officer about a requirement to provide a fresh signature (required at five yearly intervals), make sure you check, complete and sign then return the form before 12th September to ensure you continue to have a postal vote – just in case there are any really important elections or maybe a referendum coming up!!

Thank you!

I am delighted to be the newly elected Liberal Democrat councillor for Westhill and District. Thank you all for supporting me on the doorstep during my campaign and for casting your vote for me. I look forward to working with colleagues in the ward to help keep Westhill and District a great place to work and live in. As always, I can be contacted by phone or email on any local issue.

Your local polling places

Make sure you know where your polling place is. Polling places open at 7am on Thursday 3rd May and close at 10pm. Westhill and District polling places are:

Cluny Church Hall, Sauchen

Midmar Village Hall

Echt Village Hall

Milne Hall, Kirkton of Skene

Ashdale Hall, Westhill

Westdyke Leisure Centre, Elrick

Your polling card will remind you of which polling place you should go to.

Please register to vote and use your vote!

Emmeline Pankhurst fighting for votes for women

Although we all have the right to vote, many people do not take advantage of this most basic democratic right. Your vote is the most direct way that you have of influencing the way your country and your local councils are run. People have fought long and hard for the right of everyone to be able to vote and for the equality of each person’s vote. One person, one vote. It makes sense to use your vote.

Voting in local elections decides who serves on the council and who controls the council. Elected Councillors are responsible for the council budget and for making decisions on the services the council provides. So your vote is your direct link with the service you receive. If you choose not to vote, and you do have the right not to for voting is not compulsory, your opinion has no effect on how the council or your country are run. You are expressing your democratic feelings by voting, you are making your point clear. No vote, no choice.

Listed below are some of the key points in the history and development of our right to vote:

•Early days:  Originally 2 knights from each Shire (county) were sent to the Commons. These knights were elected by members of the local county courts. They were joined later in the Commons by 2 representatives from each Borough (town), although borough representation was not obligatory.

•By 1430: Only owners of freehold land worth over 40 shillings a year were eligible to vote in county elections. In boroughs qualification varied from each male head of household to those paying local taxes or to those who possessed property. This continued for over 400 years. By the end of the eighteenth century only 2% of the population could vote.

•1832: The Reform Act saw the redistribution of parliamentary seats to new cities and a change in the property qualification on voting. A uniform franchise was introduced in the boroughs giving the vote to those who paid more than £10 in rent or rates. Property qualifications also applied to those entitled to vote in rural areas. Only one man in seven now had the right to vote.

•1867: The Second Reform Act extended the franchise enabling virtually all men living in urban areas to vote. This added approximately 1.1 million men to the existing electorate of 1.4 million.

•1872: The secret ballot was introduced, initially as a temporary measure which was subject to annual review. It was established as a permanent measure in 1918.

•1884: The Third Reform Act gave men in rural areas the same franchise as those in the boroughs. The electorate now totalled over 5.5 million.

•1918: The Representation of the People Act gave women the right to vote, but only those over 30 years old. The electorate increased from 8 million to 21 million.

•1928: The Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act lowered the voting age for women to 21 years old.

 •1969: The age limit for voting was reduced to 18 years old for men and women.

Are you registered to vote?

With just over 10 weeks until the local elections on May 3rd, make sure you are on the voters’ register so you can cast your vote. Although most people update their details between August and November each year when what is known as the “annual canvass” is delivered to their home address, if you are not registered or have moved home, please click on the link below to register:


To make things even easier, why not apply for a postal vote? Unexpected things happen and it may be that you cannot attend the polling station on the day of the elections. The deadline for applying for a new postal vote is 5pm on Wednesday 18th April 2012. For more details and to apply for a postal vote, go to: