Christmas opening hours

Many public services and facilities run by the council and partners will be affected during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Christmas opening hours

Postal voting

If you do not apply for a postal vote but will be unable to vote in person, you may want to find out about applying to vote by proxy (see below).

If you have applied for a postal vote, you will receive a voting pack in the post including instructions on how to vote.

Pleases read the instructions thoroughly to make sure your vote is counted.

When you get your postal voting pack, including the ballot paper, make sure you put it somewhere safe and don't give it to anyone or leave it where anyone else can pick it up.

It’s up to you when you vote – you can do it straightaway – but ensure you complete your ballot paper in secret and don’t let anyone else vote for you.

Once everything is complete, post it back yourself. If you can’t do that, give it to somebody you know and trust to do it for you. Make sure you send it back so that it arrives by 10pm on election day. If it arrives later than this, your vote won't be counted.

You can hand your postal ballot in at your local council on the day if you’re not able to send it back by post in advance.

If you need help filling in your postal vote, call the Elections team on 0161 770 4718.

If you need more information on voting please visit the Electoral Commission website at

Tips on how to keep your postal vote safe

  • Put them somewhere safe
  • Don't let anyone else handle them
  • Don't give the ballot paper to anyone else
  • Put the ballot paper in the envelope and seal it up yourself
  • Complete and sign the postal voting statement
  • Put the postal voting statement and the envelope containing your ballot paper into the larger supplied envelope and seal it.
  • Take it to the post box yourself, if you can
  • If you can't do that, either give it to somebody you know and trust to post it for you, or ring your local elections team, to ask if they can collect it from you
  • Don't hand it to a candidate or party worker unless no other way is practical
  • Don't leave it where someone else can pick it up

Proxy voting - appoint someone to cast your vote

A proxy vote is for when you cannot get to the polling station on polling day so you appoint somebody to cast your vote for you.

Your appointed person must be allowed to vote in UK elections and willing to vote for you.

You can only appoint someone to cast your vote if:

  • You are an overseas or service voter
  • You have a physical disability
  • You are away from home due to work or a course
  • You have to travel by air or sea to get to your nearest polling station

In all these cases (except if you are registered blind) you must ask someone to certify on your application that the reason is valid (for example, your doctor or employer).

You can contact the Elections Office for an application form or download one from the About My Vote website.