Burnley poll switch 'deprives villagers of vote'

HUNDREDS of voters in rural Burnley are being ‘disenfranchised’ by a polling station change backed by town hall bosses.

Cliviger councillor Cosima Towneley has even suggested erecting a marquee to cater for the electorate in Walk Mill at the next borough poll.

Controversy has been created over the past two years after a decision was taken to axe the RACA pavilion as a polling station and ask voters to use Cliviger village hall instead.

The pavilion was felt to be ‘too small’ and presented risks regarding the ‘secrecy’ of individual voters.

And it was also said to be ‘too cold’ as the size of the building meant the door had to be kept open during polling.

Coun Towneley told a full council meeting that the decision had seen voter turnout in the area dropping from more than 50 per cent to only 35 per cent.

The village hall was at least a mile-and-a-half away from the Walk Mill area and for residents of Bacup Road it was at least a four to six mile round trip.

She added: “I would propose that we use a tent for the forthcoming elections in May, to see how it works. I would ask for your support in re-enfranchising members of my ward.”

But the move, though supported by fellow Conservatives, failed to win the backing of Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors.

Council leader Coun Julie Cooper said she ‘had a great deal of sympathy’ with voters in Cliviger.

“But I have to say that I have looked into this thoroughly and it is not sufficient for us to say that it should be used for these reasons,” she said.

Comments (4)

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7:40pm Tue 24 Dec 13

rudis_dad says...

So voter turnout is down from 50% to35% because of a switch of polling station. You sure about that Cosima? Nowt to do with the fact that the councillors we have couldn't find their own backsides with both hands, and those that want to replace them have all the charisma of a wet tissue? You were given the opportunity to do something about this well before the decision not to use the RACA pavilion was taken and yet you all sat on your fat backsides and bitched and moaned about without actually taking any positive action. I have to use the polling station on Hillcrest Avenue, which is in somebody's conservatory. Do you seriously expect us to believe that not one of the ten-bob millionaires who lives on Thanet Lee isn't prepared to come to some sort of similar arrangement? #tinpot
So voter turnout is down from 50% to35% because of a switch of polling station. You sure about that Cosima? Nowt to do with the fact that the councillors we have couldn't find their own backsides with both hands, and those that want to replace them have all the charisma of a wet tissue? You were given the opportunity to do something about this well before the decision not to use the RACA pavilion was taken and yet you all sat on your fat backsides and bitched and moaned about without actually taking any positive action. I have to use the polling station on Hillcrest Avenue, which is in somebody's conservatory. Do you seriously expect us to believe that not one of the ten-bob millionaires who lives on Thanet Lee isn't prepared to come to some sort of similar arrangement? #tinpot rudis_dad

12:06pm Wed 25 Dec 13

DaveBurnley says...

How terrible, having to make a trip of up to 6 miles every few years. It must be great when this is your biggest problem in life.
How terrible, having to make a trip of up to 6 miles every few years. It must be great when this is your biggest problem in life. DaveBurnley

10:32am Sun 29 Dec 13

andy1 says...

Think the constituents need to take a leaf out of places like South Africa when voting. Looking at the ques in 1994 some people walked for days to register the vote they had fought for for years of all ages I must add.
Think the constituents need to take a leaf out of places like South Africa when voting. Looking at the ques in 1994 some people walked for days to register the vote they had fought for for years of all ages I must add. andy1

7:27pm Wed 1 Jan 14

psch says...

You would have thought postal votes weren't freely available!!
You would have thought postal votes weren't freely available!! psch

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