RESIDENTS are being encouraged to vote for the new Police and Crime Commissioner and take part in the EU membership debate.

Witham MP Priti Patel is asking residents on the electoral register to vote on polling day on Thursday, May 5.

Ms Patel said: “With important elections and a referendum coming up it is essential for as many people as possible to be on the electoral register so that they can have their say.

“The Police and Crime Commissioner has an important role to play in setting local policing priorities and residents in Colchester Borough have an opportunity to remove the weak and incompetent Lib Dem-Labour coalition and elect a strong Conservative administration that will stand up for them.

"These elections are important and I encourage all of my constituents to make sure they are on the register and vote.”

Monday, April 18, is the deadline to register to vote in them.

The deadline to register to vote in the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU is Tuesday, June 7, for polling day on Thursday, June 23.