Working at the Election May 2017.

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Are you registered to vote?
If you are then would you like the opportunity to earn some extra money?

If you have ever voted in an election you will have come across the staff that help throughout the whole day – have you ever considered working at a Polling Station as a Poll Clerk?

Poll Clerks help the Presiding Officer set up polling booths: check and mark each person as they vote; stamp and issue ballot papers to voters, making sure they bear the official mark; ensure that voters cast their votes in secret; answer any questions in a friendly and professional way; show people how to vote; and maintain the secrecy and security of the ballot.

It is a long day, usually from 6.30am until at least 10pm when the voting finishes but you could earn at least £100.  It is worth noting that after two or three years’ experience as a poll clerk you can then apply to be a Presiding Officer which means more money.

Don’t leave it until a week before the election to apply to your local Elections and Registration Office, the positions will probably already be filled.  Give them a call or send an email telling them you are interested.  A training session is offered before Election Day.

If you would like more information please contact Helen at Democratic Services, Warwickshire County Council.

helenbarnsley@warwickshire.gov.uk
01926 412323

Do you want to vote?

 

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Why Should I Vote?

By voting on May 4th 2017, you get to have a say about what goes on in Warwickshire, who makes decisions on your behalf and who will represent your views throughout the County.

Councillors are elected to represent local residents – and you can vote for the person who you think will represent you the best.

Every vote counts so if you don’t vote then the person you want will have less chance of getting elected.  Someone will be elected whether you vote or not.  By registering to vote you can give your voice to the process.

How do I vote?

You’ll receive a polling card which will tell you where to go on Election Day. Take the card along to your polling station any time between 7am -10pm to cast your vote.

BUT

If you don’t register, you can’t vote.

If you’re not yet registered to vote go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote  and fill in your details.

Make sure you do this before 5pm on Thursday 13th April 2017

 

If you don’t register then you won’t be able to vote 

 

What does a Councillor Do?

We recently asked if residents understood the role of a councillor; so we have put together some brief information about councillors.

In May 2017 you will have the opportunity to vote for new County Councillors who are responsible for services across the whole county, like:

– education
– transport
– planning
– fire and public safety
– social care
– libraries
– waste management
– trading standards

County Councillors have a very important role, playing a key role in how things are done in Warwickshire. The five main areas are listed below –

1) They represent their local community
2) They are involved in the decision making process
3) They develop and review Council policies
4) They scrutinise Council decisions
5) They take part in community leadership and engagement

If you would like more information please contact Democratic Services via our twitter account or email democraticservices@warwickshire.gov.uk

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It’s Thursday 2nd May – Vote today in the County Council Elections!

Morning folks. It’s an early start for all of the elections staff working in the County Council elections!

Polling stations will be open today all over the county, and you will have received a polling card through the post telling you where to vote.

Polling stations will be open from 7am -10pm – so there’s plenty of time to cast your vote. Just don’t forget!

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Don’t lose your voice. Register to Vote!

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Our County Council elections take place on 2nd May, and we want to make sure that as many people in Warwickshire use their vote, and have a say about what goes on in Warwickshire.

Registering is easy – but if you don’t do it in time you’ll lose your chance to vote. Simply fill in this online form, or contact your local Electoral Office:

North Warwickshire

T: 01827 719221 E: democraticservices@northwarks.gov.uk

Nuneaton & Bedworth

T: 02476 376230 E: electoralreg@nuneatonandbedworth.gov.uk

Rugby

T: 01788 533595 E: elections@rugby.gov.uk

Stratford on Avon

T: 01789 260208 E: elections@stratford-dc.gov.uk

Warwick

T: 01926 456107 E: elections@warwickdc.gov.uk

Remember, you only have until 17th April to register.

There’s still time, but do it now to make sure you can use your vote on 2nd May.

Everything we do is Democracy – but this is Local Democracy Week

This week (15th – 19th October) is European Local Democracy Week. What does this mean?

Here at Warksdemocracy we help support your local County Councillors in their roles as your representatives and community champions, so that they can represent your views and deal with residents’ problems.

But our job is also to help you get directly involved that the decisions that affect you – whether by coming to meetings and telling Councillors directly, signing a petition, or writing to your Councillors to let them know your views.

All of this happens every day, and we regularly have public questions at meetings and have plenty of petitions submitted, both traditional paper and via our ePetitions facility

Local Democracy Week is all about making that extra push to get people involved in the decisions that affect them, with a particular focus on young people.

We’re taking the opportunity to let members of the public know about the various ways they can get involved in the work of Council.  Nearly all of the Council’s meetings are held in public, and you find out about future meetings, and download past reports and minutes here.

Before making any major decisions, the Council consults local people first.  All of the current consultations can be found on our consultation pages. You can also sign up to receive emails when consultations are launched.

We’ll be blogging more about Local Democracy Week as the week goes on, and tweeting from our public meetings this week. In the meantime you can find our more information about Councillors, Petitions, Elections and Democracy on our website.

NHS Reforms – How will they work in Warwickshire?

A really good turnout!

Yesterday was pretty busy around here – we held a partnership event for all of the major health organisations in Warwickshire, to try and work out how everyone will work together as a result of the NHS reforms. The event was co-hosted by Councillor Les Caborn (our Chair of the Adult Social Care and Health Scrutiny Committee) and Andrew Lawrence from the Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS).

At the event we had reps from (watch out for acronyms here) CCGsPCTs, HWBBCQC, LINk, NHSCfPSHealthwatch, and local Councils.

Locally, most of the unanswered questions are about how these agencies will work together, as people have new responsibilities, or find themselves working with different organisations. The idea behind the event was to get everyone in the same room, to try to provide answers to these questions, and build what will be important working relationships for the future.

Here are some of the things we learned:

Health is about patients and the public

I’m not saying that we didn’t all already know this, but it was kind of encouraging to affirm this as a lot of the debate on the reforms has been about structures and organisations, rather than improving care. It was really useful to try and map out all of the people and organisations involved – each table put patients and the public right at the centre of their ‘solar system’.

Note the Spaceship…

A lot of our work should focus on stopping people becoming patients, or sending them to the right people to get better.

I suppose this expands on the adage of “prevention is better than cure”, though is a bit more complicated than that. We heard from health professionals that in a lot of cases, people who have minor complaints either put off seeing their GP until their condition gets more serious (which is clearly bad for the patient, and more expensive for the NHS) – or even worse, wait until their condition is really advanced, when they present to A&E on a Saturday night, with a problem that should have been sorted long before then.

A focus on early intervention and preventative campaigns doesn’t just make sense from a health point of view; with budgets as constrained as they are, can we afford not to nip these problems in the bud?

GPs are getting on with the job they’ve been given

We had reps from 2 out of the 3 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) operating in Warwickshire at our event – the message from them was that, despite concerns expressed by the British Medical Association and others, they’ve been given the responsibility to commission healthcare services in their area, so they’re getting on with it.

The CCGs are going through the process of being authorised at the moment, with them taking over responsibility from the Arden Cluster (Primary Care Trust) in April 2013. As with any membership organisation, there is the problem of engagement, and they admit that not all GPs will want to be involved with commissioning. They say they are working to combat this though.

Health Scrutiny is like a spaceship (yes, really)

Continuing the solar system theme here – County and Unitary Councils have had the responsibility since 2001 for scrutinising local health services (i.e. Health Scrutiny) and have powers to require information from local health trusts, and to call in their Chief Executives if there are problems. Out of all of health bodies, Health Scrutiny hasn’t been really affected by the health reforms, and still has the powers to look at anything that Councillors and public want it to. This can range from the closure of a ward in Rugby, to a specific group to look at Mental Health services for young people, or even parking at University Hospital in Coventry. Scrutiny can go anywhere, and look at anything. Like a spaceship.

The next steps in Warwickshire

The event went really well – you can see some more of the debate and photos on Twitter (@WarksDemocracy). Quick feedback from most people was that it was useful to get around a table with everyone – even if we didn’t all agree all the time.

County Councillors will be working with District Councillors over the coming months to work out how local democracy and accountability can be promoted in the new health world. We’ll be looking to avoid duplication between councils and hopefully, by working together, get better results for local residents. This should then help how the councils work with the CCGs, Health and Wellbeing Board, and Health Scrutiny.

We’ll be holding another event in October – hopefully we can update you all further after that – things are moving pretty quickly, so who knows where we’ll be by then!

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