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Annual Canvass gets underway in the Vale

 

The Annual Canvass starts this week in the Vale of Glamorgan and its your opportunity to make sure you have your say in the 2021 Welsh Parliament Elections.

What is the annual canvass?

Annual Canvass is a confirmation exercise to maintain and update the Electoral Register. The Cabinet Office| instructs every Local Authority (Council) that they must run a canvass of their area every year and this is in legislation. The Canvass process is organised and run by the council however; the council will be closely monitored by the Electoral Commission|.

With the Covid-19 Pandemic, will this years canvass be any different?

This year we are operating our canvass slightly differently. We will still be writing to all properties, but as a lot of work has been completed, matching our data with data provided by the Cabinet Office, we believe a lot of the information we hold is correct and up to date. Where we have confirmed an exact household match between our database and the information provided by the Cabinet Office you will receive a letter confirming the information we hold for your household. If the information is correct, you do not need to do anything. If you think the information, we hold is incorrect you are required to contact us to let us know.

For any other properties that we believe we have incorrect information against DWP that has not matched with our data, we will be sending a slightly different letter that will ask you to confirm details with us. It is really important that everybody reads the letter carefully and responds promptly and accurately.  

We also want the residents of the Vale of Glamorgan to be aware that legislation has recently changed as a result of the Senedd and Elections (Wales) Act. This legislation means that the voting age has lowered from 18 to 16 for the first time ever in Wales only. Young people can now register from the age of 14 in preparation to vote at the age of 16. This is an exciting change for the youth of  Wales, which will allow them to vote in Senedd Elections (previously called National Assembly for Wales Elections), the next being the Welsh Government Election in May 2021. We must encourage them to exercise their right to have their say, to help shape the future for young people. There are also some changes in legislation for the extension of the right to vote in Senedd Elections to qualifying foreign citizens. More information can be found about this by searching for Senedd and Elections (Wales) Act 2020.

What is the timetable for the next annual canvass?

Annual Canvass will run from the 21st of July to the 19th November 2020.

Date Stage
21st July – 28th July A Canvass communication form will be posted to every property within the Vale of Glamorgan.  This is now over 61,000 properties.
3rd September A 1st Reminder Form (this is another canvass communication form) is sent to all non-responding properties where a response is required. It is important to remember to respond by this stage at the latest, as this will avoid us having to conduct a house to house visit. With the current implications with Covid-19 we want to avoid visits wherever possible to minimize contact for our residents as far as possible. Last year 95.4% of our residents responded which was fantastic, and we would like to improve on this figure as well as capture as many eligible young people, affected by the legislation changes, as possible.
Saturday 10th October – Sunday 01st November A team of Canvassers will visit all properties that were required to respond but did not respond by a given date. All our Canvass Team Members carry photographic ID badges with them and may visit at the weekend. We will be capturing information electronically and not using application forms and so we would appreciate information to be given to the canvassers on their visit.
01st November   The Canvass Team stop their property visits. If you have missed our canvassing teams and have received a calling card, it is really important that you follow the instuctions on your card to contact and update your records with us. This will be your last opportunity to make amendments before the register is published and the final date to respond is 19th November.
1st December The updated Electoral Register is published.

How will the Council contact me?

Every property, within the Vale of Glamorgan, will be sent a Canvass communication form (previously known as a household enquiry form) in the post.

Canvass communication form A will be green A4 and CCFB will be pink A4. The reminders will be A3 size and[FG1]  printed on pink paper. You will receive an English copy and a Welsh copy.

It will show every person, who is registered on the Electoral Register, and over 16 years of age at your property. Therefore, if no one is currently registered at your address the form will be blank for you to fill in.

A canvass communication form is an official form from the government.  It’s important to provide information where requested to do so; if you don’t you could be fined £1000.

If you do not respond to this form where required and any subsequent reminder then a member of the canvass team (an officer from the council) will call at your property to confirm with you in person.


 [FG1]CCA and CCB are A4. CCA will be green and CCB pink

How can I respond to my canvass communication?

There are 3 different ways to respond:

  1. We recommend wherever possible please complete your canvass communication form online as this is processed automatically through the system. Its also important to remember we do still have to work within the government guidelines for the pandemic. So, it really is more important that every that everyone who needs to respond, does so promptly and online. This will cut down on the house to house visits we will have to make. Safer for residents and safer for our staff. Of course, staff will be social distancing and they will be carrying appropriate PPE. But we would much rather not have to visit at all. So, we would very much appreciate receiving those response in as quickly as you possibly can.
  2. If there are no changes to the household[FG1]  information that we hold, and you have received a green letter, you do not need to respond. However, if you receive a pink letter and there are no changes we will still need a response.
  3. You can return your form using the reply envelope. Please be aware that we are using a third-party to scan any returned forms, so it is necessary to change the return address to PO Box 1352 Warrington WA4 9UG. This is instead of the usual Vale of Glamorgan address, please be assured this is the normal process.

What happens once I return my Canvass?

Your response will be checked by the Electoral Registration Office.

If you have identified any changes, additions or deletions these will be updated and confirmed on the Electoral Register. It may be necessary for us to send further forms to set up your preference, e.g. Invitation to register, postal application or change of name.

If you do not inform us of any changes, this may impact your right to vote in future elections and could have an effect on your credit rating.

If you have provided us with the name of a person who is not currently registered then we will send them an Invitation To Register form in the post.

They can also complete an Invitation To Register form online at www.gov.uk/registertovote

What happens if I haven't received my canvss form?

If you haven’t responded to the initial letter, a reminder will be sent to your property on the 3rd September 2020 where you still have the opportunity to respond.

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