PEOPLE across Chorley are being urged to ensure they don’t lose their right to vote in future elections following changes to the way they need register to vote.

In previous years, one member of a household could register all those eligible to vote, but now people have to register individually.

Now Chorley Council is urging all those eligible, to ensure they are registered on the electoral roll so they keep their right to vote.

Councillor Peter Wilson, deputy leader of Chorley Council, said: “We do a canvass of electors every year to ensure that people who are eligible to vote can do so because they are listed on the electoral roll.

“However, in the past it just needed someone in the household to fill in the form on behalf of the whole household.

“But this year the rules have changed, meaning everyone has to register individually so their details can be checked that they are who they say they are.”

Most people already on the register, around 91% of the electorate, have been checked electronically and they will get a letter saying they will remain on the register and that they won’t need to do anything more.

However, there will be others, around 7,000 of them across the borough, who will receive an ‘Invitation to Register’ form asking them to either return the completed form to the council, or giving a web address for them to apply to register on line.

In addition, the council will be sending out Household Enquiry Forms to empty properties and those households who did not reply to last year’s canvass.

Councillor Wilson added: “If you’re not on the register you will not be able to vote in the general and local elections next May, so it’s in your best interest to make sure you’re on so you can have your say.

“It will only take a few minutes of your time and not being registered can also affect your credit ratings and your ability to take out mortgages, loans, hire purchase, mobile phone contracts or even open a bank account.”

The full updated register will be published on 1 December 2014.

For more information on individual electoral registration, please visit the council’s website