THE countdown is now on for Fife’s local council elections, with only six weeks until Fifers go to the polls.
This week nominations officially opened for those looking to stand as candidates and from here on in it looks as if all parties will be stepping their campaign up a gear.
Although D-day for prospective councillors will be Thursday, May 3, Fifers will have to wait until the day after polling day to hear the result and discover who will represent them on Fife Council.
The local authority has decided to stick to the format used at last year’s Scottish Parliament elections with the count not starting until the following day - Friday, May 4 - instead of the traditional late night count.
A spokesman said: “The count will start on Friday, May 4 at 8.00 a.m.
“We hope the first declaration will be approximately 10.30 a.m.
‘‘We’ll declare steadily through the day with the final declaration around 4.00 p.m. barring any recounts.”
The count will take place at Fife Institute in Glenrothes.
News about the timing of the count comes as those wishing to stand as candidates in the election are invited to formally submit their nominations.
The closing date for these submissions is March 29.
Potential candidatees can find nomination forms for the 23 wards that make up Fife Council on the local authority’s website - www.fifedirect.org - and can request help with submitting their form if needed from the Council’s elecions office.
Linda Bissett, Fife’s depute returning officer explained: “Potential candidates have until 4.00 p.m on Thursday, March 29 to get nominations in to us.
“Standing for election is a big decision and there’s plenty of useful help and information available online for those who are contemplating taking the step.”
Members of the public are also being reminded to ensure they are registered on the voters roll so they can have their say in the forthcoming ballot.
Linda Bissett added: “You must be on the electoral register to have your say on who sits on your Council.
“If you have recently moved to the area, or moved house it is important to make sure that you register at your new address otherwise you won’t be able to vote.
“It only takes a few minutes to complete a registration form but you must make sure we receive it by Wednesday, April 18.”
But even those who can’t make it to their polling station on May 3 will still be able to vote.
Andy O’Neill, head of the Scottish Office at independent elections watchdog, the Electoral Commission, said: “Even if you will be away on holiday, or think you might be caught up in work you can make sure you have your say by applying to vote by post or proxy.”
>> Check your vote
Registration forms to ensure you are on the voting roll are available by calling 08451 5555 11; emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or at www.aboutmyvote.co.uk.
Forms to register to vote by post or proxy can be printed off at wwww.aboutmyvote.co.uk.