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‘Leeds council red-tape has denied me my right to vote’

James Islip

James Islip

  • by Aisha Iqbal
 

A LEEDS man has been left fuming amid claims that red-tape delays left him and his partner unable to vote in the local and European elections.

James Islip, 32, from Rawdon, says he had contacted Leeds City Council on several occasions to request the relevant paperwork after moving home in October,

But although his council tax payment arrangements were sorted quickly, no electoral registration forms arrived.

Mr Islip said that with a 35 per cent turnout in the local elections, the authorities cannot afford to have people who value their vote “lost in the system” due to red tape, as he and his partner Jessica apparently were,.

“We moved house in October so we called the council and told them we want to be on the electoral roll,” Mr Islip told the YEP.

“We started getting billed for the council tax straight away, but no voting information was coming through.

“Then, come May, we had [campaign] leaflets coming through the door but again, no voting information.

“We realised we were not on the register.

“We had called them ages ago.

“They said ‘you cannot vote, you missed the deadline’ but WE didn’t miss it!

“We were told we could still be registered at our old property and the voting card could have been sent to the old property.

“However the new occupiers had de-registered us when they registered themselves. We were just lost in the system!

“We got all the information about paying the council tax but we cannot have our say!

“This was the most important local election in a long time and we feel quite angry about it.”

A Leeds City Council spokesperson said: “In order to ensure they are eligible to vote in forthcoming elections, it is the responsibility of each household to complete and return a voter registration form to Leeds City Council if they have moved house recently.

“We would like to apologise to Mr and Mrs Islip if the correct information was not provided by the council, and a voter registration form has now been sent out to their property.”

 

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