Barnsley Council has appealed for help in cutting costs of registering voters by asking Barnsley residents to register their details online instead of by post.

It follows research which has revealed the cost of an e-registration is about 19p - compared to a postal registration which can cost about £2 when you add in the cost of return postage and staff time in opening the envelope and sifting through the details.

The Deputy Leader of Barnsley Council, Coun Jim Andrews said the electoral registration canvass launches on August 12 to get the details of  all the adults - and soon-to-be adults - who live in the borough so they can take part in elections.

He said: “We reckon that from one year to the next no changes have to be made to the electoral register for about 70,000 Barnsley households. All they have to do stay registered is to let us know that their details are correct and they can do this by using our e-registration services – SMS text, phone or the Internet.

"E-registration is easy to do and costs a lot less than when people post back the information to us. Whether we like it or not, money is now very tight for everyone; and that’s especially true for Barnsley Council. I am asking people to help us save money by using the e-options to register.

"Last year about 24,000 Barnsley households registered this way. I am really hoping that we can greatly increase that number. E-registration is cheaper and easier to do. And that’s a win all round.”

This year’s Electoral Registration canvass will start on Friday, 12 August. Electoral registration forms will be delivered to all households in the borough by Royal Mail over the next week or so.

If anyone doesn't get an electoral registration form, or has problems filling it in, they can contact the Elections helpline on (01226) 773070.