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Elections 2023 and Voter ID

The UK Government has introduced a requirement for voters to show photo ID when voting at a polling station at some elections. This new requirement will apply for the first time in England at the local elections on Thursday, 4 May 2023.

Many people may already have a form of photo ID that is acceptable. You can use any of the following:

  • Passport issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, an EEA state or a Commonwealth country

  • A photo driving licence issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state (this includes a provisional driving licence)

  • A Blue Badge

  • Older Person’s Bus Pass

  • Disabled Person’s Bus Pass

  • Freedom Pass

  • Identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS card)

  • Biometric immigration document

  • Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card)

  • National identity card issued by an EEA state

  • Other documents

You can even use an expired form of ID, provided the picture still looks like you! If you don’t already have an accepted form of photo ID, or you’re not sure whether your photo ID still looks like you, you can apply for a free voter ID document, known as a Voter Authority Certificate. If you need ID to vote in the May 2023 elections, you must apply by 5 pm on Tuesday, 25 April 2023. 

Emergency Alerts system

The UK government’s new Emergency Alerts system is now live. The system will enable people to be contacted via their mobile phone when lives are in danger.

It will be used to warn you in the event of emergencies, such as severe flooding.

The government will be conducting a test of the system on Sunday 23rd April with mobile phone users across the country receiving an alert.

Emergency Alerts are sent to all compatible mobile phones within an area of risk. They don’t track your location, need your phone number, or collect personal data. Only the government and the emergency services will be able to send them. If you don’t have a mobile phone, you’ll still be kept informed through other channels.

If you get an Emergency Alert on your phone, you’ll hear a loud, siren-like sound. A message on your screen will tell you about the emergency and how best to respond. You’ll be able to check an alert is genuine at

If you receive an alert, read the alert carefully and follow the instructions.

You can opt out of receiving emergency alerts; for more information on how to opt out please go to

To find out more about Emergency Alerts, visit

Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan

Local people and businesses will be helped to take control of empty shops blighting high streets, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove has announced , as part of plans to revitalise high streets and tackle anti-social behaviour.

High Street Rental Auctions will breathe new life into boarded-up shops and ensure high streets do not fall into disrepair, whilst giving more opportunities for local businesses to expand and thrive.

The Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan, will make £2 million available to help communities and local businesses take control of these properties by covering the cost of refurbishing properties, the auction and council fees. Bringing pride of place back to areas is not only key to tackling anti-social behaviour but is also a key part of the government’s plan to level up across the country.

Research shows that anti-social behaviour is the main reason people do not feel safe in their local area and seeing empty shops and buildings adds further to the sense of community decline.

But a review of current complex leasing laws – led by the Law Commission - will further remove barriers to accessing property and help small businesses to occupy properties quicker and reduce the number of empty shops on high streets, boost the local economy and bring more jobs to areas.

Up to 172,000 commercial properties are empty across the UK and 8 in 10 of these have been vacant for more than two years. The North East and West Midlands have the most shuttered shops, with over 15% properties empty, resulting in hollowed out town centres.

Other measures include:

  • Cracking down on those that exploit vulnerable people by taking control of their property for criminal activity, or ‘cuckooing’, by consulting on making it a criminal offence

  • Unlimited fines for irresponsible landlords and building owners who allow their properties to fall into disrepair and for anti-social behaviour to thrive

  • Giving councils more powers to move in quickly when houses are left vacant – cutting the timeframe from when they can act from two years of a building being empty to six months

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