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New Emergency Alerts Service to be tested nationally on 23rd April

The UK government’s new Emergency Alerts system is now live. The system enables people to be contacted via their mobile phone when lives are in danger. It will be used to warn you in the event of emergencies, such as severe flooding.

On Sunday 23 April 2023 at 3pm, there will be a national test of the Emergency Alerts service.  Announcements – GOV.UK (

The message will confirm it is a test. You will not need to take any action. Please do not call the emergency services.

Emergency Alerts are sent to all compatible mobile phones within an area of risk. They don’t track your location, need your phone number, or collect personal data.

Only the government and emergency services can send them. If you don’t have a mobile phone, you’ll still be informed through other channels.

If you get an Emergency Alert, your phone or tablet will make a loud, siren-like sound for about 10 seconds. A message on your screen will tell you about the emergency and how best to respond. You can check an alert is genuine at About Emergency Alerts – GOV.UK (

Please note that the alert will sound even if your phone is on a silent setting.

If you have a secret or concealed phone that you use to keep yourself safe, for example from an abusive partner, you can opt out of receiving the alerts by changing the settings on your phone under “Emergency Alerts”.

This New Emergency Alerts system – a safety update for survivors – YouTube shows how to switch off the alerts for Android/iPhones (warning: the video contains audio).

Stay safe if the alert sounds while you are driving or operating machinery. Please do not look at your phone or attempt to respond in these circumstances as distractions can cause serious accidents.

Please note: This is a government system test.

Herts police, the Watch Liaison Team and Neighbourhood Watch are unable to answer enquiries about the system.

Local Elections – 4th May 2023

From 4 May 2023, voters will need to show photo ID to vote at polling stations in the district. A wide range of photo ID will be accepted, including passports, driving licences and cards with a PASS Mark.

For more information on which forms of photo ID will be accepted, visit or call the Electoral Commission helpline on 0800 328 0280.

If you don’t already have an accepted form of photo ID, or you’re not sure whether your photo ID still looks like you, you can apply for a free voter ID document, known as a Voter Authority Certificate. You can apply at The deadline to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate in time for the 4 May elections is 5pm Tuesday 25 April 2023.

The following elections are taking place on Thursday 4 May:

  • Around a third of District Council seats will be contested, with elections taking place in all wards except Colney Heath and Marshalswick West.
  • All seats are up for election at the following Parish and Town Councils: Colney Heath, Harpenden Rural, Harpenden Town, London Colney, Redbourn, Sandridge, St Michael, St. Stephen, and Wheathampstead. A Community Governance Review has resulted in changes to some parish ward names, areas, and councillor numbers.
  • Neighbourhood Plan Referendums are taking place in Wheathampstead and Redbourn. Learn more here:

To have your say in May, make sure that you are registered to vote, especially if you have recently changed address. A registration form is available at or request a paper form by calling Electoral Services on 01727 819294. The deadline to register to vote is Monday 17 April 2023.

Information about Voter ID requirements, the elections, and how to apply for a postal or proxy vote can be found at: