Carers encouraged to vote by post or proxy

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SNP North East MSP Mark McDonald has joined forces with VSA to call for carers in the North East to use postal and proxy voting in order to ensure that their vote counts in the local elections in May.

Postal and proxy votes can be registered up to Wednesday, April 18, by contacting the Electoral Registration Officer at Woodhill House on (01224) 664848 or by downloading the form from http://www.grampian-vjb.gov.uk/website/index.asp and following the links.

Commenting Mr McDonald said: “Carers make up a significant section of the electorate, and it is important that their voices are heard in the local elections, given how local services impact upon their lives and their role as carers.

“I know from the personal experience of my mother being a carer that it can often be difficult for carers to find the time to go to their local polling station, particularly if they are in a rural area and have to travel to get there, as they can never be sure what demands on their time will arise.”

“In that respect it is vital that carers are able to vote without inconveniencing themselves, and I hope that they will take the opportunity to register for a postal vote or assign a proxy vote to someone on their behalf.”

Lucy Whiteman of VSA Carers Services added: “As an organisation we work to represent carers’ views and provide a forum for them, but there is no substitute for having a direct say at the ballot box.

“With moves towards self-directed support, use of change funds, and the issue of respite remaining ever more important, it is vital that carers take the chance to participate in the local elections as councillors will play a role in shaping these services for the future.

“I would encourage carers to sign up for postal or proxy voting to ensure that their vote counts in May.”