Don’t forget to cast your vote in today’s poll

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REGISTERED voters are being urged not to forget to make their choices in today’s council elections and referendum for the Alternative Vote.

And some voters in the Castle Ward are being reminded that there is a change from previous elections – with a different room at Friarage School being used as a polling station.

A Scarborough Council spokesman said: “Other voters in the ward will continue to use Queen Street Central Hall in Queen Street and Albemarle Baptist Church in Albemarle Crescent as normal.”

A total of 140 candidates are vying for 50 seats on Scarborough Council in a total of 25 wards across the borough.

At the last borough election, held in 2007, the Conservatives lost five seats, picking up 23 of the 50 available, with 15 Independents being returned and six Liberal Democrats. Labour plunged to having just four councillors while the Green Party doubled its tally to two members.

Contested elections will also take place for both wards of Eastfield Parish Council, Folkton Parish Council, the Abbey ward of Whitby Town Council and Wykeham Parish Council.

As well as candidates from the five main political groups – the Conservatives, the Independents, the Liberal Democrats, Labour and the Green Party – others are standing for the Liberal Party, the National Front and some are not allied with any party.

The spokesman added: “There will no longer be contested elections to Hinderwell Parish Council after the withdrawal of a candidate left six candidates for six seats.

“All other parish candidates and town council candidates nominated will be elected unopposed, with some councils then likely to co-opt members to fill the remaining seats.”

Today also sees the nationwide referendum on the alternative voting system with people are being asked whether they want to stick with the current first past the post system or move towards the Alternative Vote. Candidates are ranked in order of preference – the winner needs to get more than 50 per cent of the votes.

The spokesman said that this year voters across the area were not receiving a polling card but should have been sent a letter which they are asked to take with them when they cast their vote to help staff.

Registered voters have until 10pm this evening to cast their vote.

He said: “The counting of the borough and parish council votes will take place at Scarborough Sports Centre from around 10.30am on Friday, the day after the elections, with the counting on the alternative vote referendum due to begin at 4pm that day.

l For more information about the elections and the candidates in your area visit www.scarborough.gov.uk and click on the council and democracy link on the left hand side of the home page.