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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 May 2007, 14:31 GMT 15:31 UK
'Rock-and-poll' band boosts vote
The Council Tax Band
Returning officer Mr Lant oversees the Wealden district poll
A Sussex returning officer has set out to boost turnout at the local elections by performing a "rock and poll" song called Vote!

Charlie Lant has formed The Council Tax Band with other local government executives at Wealden District Council.

He said Wealden voter turnout was 68.4% at the general election, but only 35% at the 2004 local poll, and he wants to ensure people do not "miss out".

Band publicity said Mr Lant had "the voice of an angel - chewing gravel".

Mr Lant, lead singer and council chief executive, said: "I've had enough of people moaning about their local councils, but never doing anything about it.

No public money was spent in this recording
Charlie Lant

"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."

He said he wanted to remind people that local politics affected everyone's lives, dealing with "issues which cannot be ignored like waste and recycling, planning, affordable homes, clean streets and reducing crime".

"No public money was spent in this recording," he added.

Fair count

The song was written by Mike Fleming, council environmental services director, who also plays the guitar.

Nigel Hannam, corporate services director, plays the drums, and Mary Clare Deane, community services director provides the vocal harmonies.

As returning officer, Mr Lant is responsible for ensuring all votes are properly counted and a fair election takes place.

He said the council had a statutory responsibility to promote participation in the electoral process under the Electoral Administration Act 2006.

A chief executive turns lead singer to boost voter turnout

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