THE biggest change to voter registration in a lifetime has started - and Ealing will join councils across the country in moving towards an individual electoral registration system.

Until now, households were asked to register on one form, with one adult taking responsibility for returning information for all the eligible people at one address.

Now, in a bid to cut down on electoral fraud and to increase confidence in the system, everyone eligible to vote will have to register individually.

To make this process easier, a new online registration system has been launched at People simply have to provide their name, address, date of birth and national insurance number. Postal registration is also available.

Most Ealing residents who are currently registered to vote will be registered automatically under the new system, while some will need to re-register.

All residents will receive a letter in the coming weeks, notifying them of their status and what they need to do.

People who are not on the electoral roll will receive information on how to register to vote.

Councillor Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council, said: “Ealing had one of the highest turnouts in London in May’s local elections, with thousands of local people using their democratic right to vote.

“A general election is scheduled for next year and residents won’t be able to vote unless they are on the electoral register.”