RESIDENTS in Gloucestershire are being urged to use their vote this May for the county council elections.

On Thursday, May 4, elections will take place across the 53 electoral divisions which make up Gloucestershire County Council.

The last county council elections took place in 2013 and the current make-up of the council is 25 Conservatives, 14 Liberal Democrats, nine Labour, two independents, one Green, one UKIP and one vacant seat.

Turnout four years ago was 32.3 per cent of the 475,960 people in the county who were eligible to vote.

To be able to vote, you must be registered, be 18 or over on the day of the election (polling day), be a British, Commonwealth or EU citizen, be resident at an address in the area you wish to vote in and not be legally excluded from voting.

Registering must be completed by April 13 at

For those wishing to have a postal vote, postal proxy or to make changes to an existing postal vote for the elections, they must return their application form by 5pm on April 18.

Anyone wishing to apply for a proxy vote should return their application form by 5pm on April 25 to their district council.

Pete Bungard, county returning officer and chief executive of Gloucestershire County Council, said: “The county council has an impact on the lives of all Gloucestershire residents.

Elected councillors are the public’s representatives on the county council so it is important that people use their vote on polling day.

“Voting is a privilege and responsibility. By using your vote, you have the power to make your voice heard. I know that some people say their vote doesn’t matter, but it really does.

“It only takes a few short minutes to register and is really simple as well.”