The election of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for the Avon and Somerset Police Area takes on Thursday 6 May. The PCC oversees the local police force and ensures that they are prioritising what matters to the local community. The Avon and Somerset Police Area includes Bath & North East Somerset Council, Bristol City Council, Mendip District Council, North Somerset Council, Sedgemoor District Council, Somerset West and Taunton Council, South Gloucestershire Council and South Somerset District Council.
By-elections will also take place that day in the Portishead East ward for a seat on each of North Somerset Council and Portishead Town Council, and for Weston-in-Gordano Parish Council.
To vote in these important elections, residents must be on the electoral register. If you are not on the electoral register at your current address, you must register to vote by midnight on Monday 19 April. It takes just five minutes to apply online at gov.uk/register-to-vote. If you have any queries you can call the council's elections team on 01934 634 909.
Nicholas Brain, Electoral Registration Officer for North Somerset Council, said: "Polling stations will be safe places on Thursday 6 May - these polls will be run in a way that meets the highest standards of public safety and democratic integrity."
Voters have three options for casting their ballot – in person at the polling station, by post or by proxy (i.e. they can appoint someone they trust to vote on their behalf at their polling station). The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on Tuesday 20 April, and for a proxy vote the deadline is 5pm on Tuesday 27 April. You are encouraged to submit any applications as soon as possible rather than leaving it until the deadline.
For more information on the election of the Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner visit www.avonpccelection.org.uk For more information on the local election in Portishead East and Weston-in-Gordano visit www.n-somerset.gov.uk/elections.