Donate

Please help us to help more homeless people by setting up a monthly direct debit.
 
 

the Pavement relies on donations and volunteering from individuals and companies...

 
the Pavement supporters at justgiving.com
 
 
 

current issue

 
 

London edition (PDF 472KB)

 

Scottish edition (PDF 476KB)

 
 
 
 

Recent tweets

 
 

How, why and when to vote

 
April 6th 2008
 
Up to one in five Londoners may miss out on their chance to vote in the upcoming Mayoral election because they are not registered to vote, and although no figures are available, there is likely to be a larger percentage amongst our readership. But being homeless, whether you sleep rough, in a hostel or temporary accommodation, does not stop you from registering to vote and exercising your democratic rights.

On 1st May, the election for the Mayor of London and for the London Assembly will take place, but if you want to vote, you must first be on the electoral register. London has the lowest voter registration in the country, with nearly 18 per cent of Londoners missing from the register in some parts of the capital, compared to an average of just seven per cent across England and Wales.

The pity of this is that it is relatively easy to register, but many of our readers may not realise they can. To register and vote in the London elections, you have to be at least 18 years old on 1st May, live in London and be a British, Commonwealth or EU citizen. The deadline for registering is 16th April, so if you've picked up this copy hot of the press, you still have nine days.

The 'Why register?' is harder to answer (other than you should because you can!), but there are two particularly good reasons.

First, it gives you a say. Even if you don't get your man or woman in office, at least you spoke for who you wanted. Despite a common perception that politicians are "all as bad as each other" and voting for anyone is a waste time (the oft-given explanation for voter apathy), voting is a positive step that will give you, the voter, a sense of ownership of the system.

Secondly, the elections for the Mayor of London and the London Assembly are important, as it is your opportunity to make a mark on the capital. The Mayor controls a number of London-wide issues including transport, policing, fire and safety, housing, the environment, economic development and arts and culture.

Taken that it's important to vote, for the City and yourself, and that it's quick and easy to register, why not do it? The homeless can register to vote by means of a 'declaration of local connection' giving your address as the place where you commonly spend a substantial part of your time (day or night). You can get this form from your local borough council. If you're sleeping rough or in a hostel and you're not sure whether you're on the electoral register, contact your closest borough council. If you want to register, ask your council or download a registration form from London Elects. All you need to do is complete and sign a simple form giving your name, age, nationality and address, and return the form to your local borough's elections office.

Just remember, the deadline for registering for the London elections is 16th April 2008.
 
 
 

April 2008

 

Contents

Mayoral candidates: Sian Berry (Green Party)

Mayoral candidates: Boris Johnson (Conservative Party)

Mayoral candidates: Ken Livingstone (Labour Party)

Mayoral candidates: Brian Paddick (Liberal Democrat Party)

How, why and when to vote

Peter Pickles' long walk

Move-ons and street counts again

Scheme introduced to reduce street drinking

Polish hostel scam

The real Ladykillers

Stranger than fiction

Street Swag

Bin-sleeper dumped by rubbish truck

Empty homes in US outnumber homeless

New mobile vet service from The Blue Cross

Facebook group boosts Big Issue vendor's sales

Film club events

Gone but not forgotten

New St Mungo's contract

Chess tournament results

New head at ScotsCare

Crisis critique - Mick Bateman responds

Hospital discharge - a response

 

Back Issues

 
 
 
 
 
 
© Copyright 2009-2014 The Pavement. Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656 Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760 ISSN (online) 1757-0484