Steady voting in the council elections

COUNTING of all Scarborough votes cast in yesterday’s local elections and voting referendum was due to begin this morning.

Yesterday saw a steady stream of voters visiting their local polling stations across the borough.

By the time the polls closed at 10pm last night thousands of registered voters across the borough had the chance to choose their favoured candidates as well as having a say in the national referendum on the Alternative Vote.

Anita Ferguson, a 40-year-old Castle Ward voter from Castle Road, said it was important to take part the process. She added: “Too often people are very good at criticising about decisions that have been made but they are all talk and don’t come out to vote.”

Steve Crawford, a 42-year-old surf instructor from Trafalgar Road, agreed that it was important to vote and added: “I wouldn’t say we live in a perfect democracy but it’s the nearest we’ve got.”

And voters turning up at the polling station at Queen’s Road Central Hall were given a better place to take part in the electoral process.

Organisers moved the location into the upstairs church area in response to feedback from previous elections and said this time it was brighter with better access.

Presiding officer Alan Fane said: “It’s been a polling station for years but it was always down stairs. Voters said it was darker.”

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.

A Scarborough Council spokesman said: “The counting of the borough and parish council votes will take place at Scarborough Sports Centre from around 10.30am, with the counting on the alternative vote referendum due to begin at 4pm.

Results will be posted on the Scarborough Evening News website as they come in.

l For a full round-up of coverage see tomorrow’s edition of the paper.