Leading disability charity Scope has urged people with disabilities to register now or risk losing their say in the forthcoming local elections.

To vote in the May 3 local elections in Scotland, Wales and England, which include the London Mayoral and Scottish Assembly elections, people must be registered to vote by Thursday, April 18.

Marc Bush, head of research and public policy at disability charity Scope said: "At a time of sweeping changes to welfare support and vast cuts to services used and relied on by disabled people and their families we would urge everyone to take the steps they need, to ensure they are able to vote in the May elections. "This is a crucial opportunity for disabled people to ensure their voices are heard in the upcoming elections on issues close to their hearts."

Electoral Commission research shows that 44% of people who are not registered to vote mistakenly believe they are, so the Commission is urging people to double check or register to vote by proxy.

Samantha Mills, head of campaigns at the Electoral Commission said: "We don't want anyone to miss the opportunity to have their say at the elections so it's important to register before the deadline of April 18. "It only takes a few minutes and by doing so you will be able to have your say on the way local services are run. It's your voice, don't lose it. "

For more information or to access large print registration forms and information visit www.aboutmyvote.co.uk or call a member of helpline staff on 08003 280280.