Officials get in the groove for elections

Nigel Hannam, drums, Charlie Lant, lead vocals, Mike Fleming, guitar and Mary Clare Deane, vocals

Nigel Hannam, drums, Charlie Lant, lead vocals, Mike Fleming, guitar and Mary Clare Deane, vocals

First published in News by

They are hardly Top of the Pops but a group of groovy council chiefs want to be top of the voting league at this year's local elections.

Officers at Wealden District Council have recorded a song for the public in a bid to boost turnout on May 3.

Take a bow, then, The Council Tax Band.

Headed by chief executive Charlie Lant, who will be the returning officer for Wealden, the band are looking for gigs before polling day to publicise the election and get people out to put their cross in the box.

Lead vocalist Mr Lant said: "I've had enough of people moaning about their local councils but never doing anything about it.

"This song is our way of reminding people that they do get the chance, every four years, to decide how they want things to be done so don't miss out.

"Local politics affect everyone's lives and deals with issues which cannot be ignored like waste and recycling, planning, affordable homes, clean streets and reducing crime.

"Oh, and before you ask, no public money was spent in this recording."

The song, available to download from www.theargus.co.uk, is called Vote! and is an acoustic rock number written by the council's environmental services director, guitarist Mike Fleming.

Corporate services director Nigel Hannam on drums and community services director Mary Clare Deane on vocal harmonies complete the line-up.

Turnout in Wealden at the last General Election was 68.4 per cent, but for the previous district council elections in 2004, only 35 per cent of the registered electorate bothered to turn out to vote.

The Council Tax Band has high hopes the single will help inspire people to vote.

A council spokesman said: "Wealden District Council has a statutory responsibility to promote participation in the electoral process under the Electoral Administration Act 2006 but Vote! was written and recorded in the officers' own time, and paid for out of their own pockets.

"No public money was spent on this recording."

Listen to Vote! by clicking here and tell us what you think below.

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