ELECTION chiefs have confirmed a by-election to fill a vacant seat on Wolverley and Cookley Parish Council will take place in January.

The ballot for the Cookley ward seat on the parish council will be held on Wednesday, January 31.

The polling station will be Cookley Village Hall, in Lea Lane, and it will be open between 7am and 10pm on January 31.

All households in the Wyre Forest district were canvassed in recent months to confirm that eligible people are registered to vote.

Ninety-six per cent of Cookley residents confirmed their registration. However, if any resident in Cookley is uncertain about whether they are registered, they can check if their name is on the Register of Electors by calling the elections team on 01562 732762.

For anyone who has not already registered, the deadline for registering to vote is midnight on Monday, January 15. You can visit gov.uk/register-to-vote or get a paper copy of the form from the Worcestershire Hub, at Kidderminster Town Hall.

Voters can also vote by post or proxy. Anyone can apply for a postal vote - which allows voters more flexibility about when they complete their ballot paper.

Anyone not already registered for a postal or proxy vote, will need to complete an application form, available from wyreforestdc.gov.uk/voting. The deadline for new postal voting requests is 5pm on Tuesday, January 16. For proxy votes, the deadline is 5pm on Tuesday, January 23.

Ian Miller, returning officer, said: "I would encourage any Cookley resident who is not already on the electoral register to check and apply as soon as possible - for example if you have recently moved into the village.

"I would also suggest that people request a postal vote, if they would prefer the convenience of completing their ballot paper at home or don't think they will be able to get to the polling station on Wednesday, January 31. Anyone can apply to vote by post."

Any resident wishing to stand in the election needs to complete and submit signed nomination papers by 4pm on Thursday, January 4. For more information about being a councillor, visit beacouncillor.co.uk.

The count will be held in the Council Chamber, at Wyre Forest House, from 10pm on January 31. It will be webcast live on wyreforestdc.gov.uk/webcast.