Residents voice their choices

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HUNDREDS of people gathered a Ayton Village Hall to have their say on how £70,000 of local authority money will be spent.

An estimated 450-plus people took part in the “Voice Your Choice” voting on Thursday when they voted on some 29 community projects in their area.

The projects and the voters were all from the Scarborough rural area wards, which covers the parishes of East Ayton, West Ayton, Seamer, Irton, Brompton-by-Sawdon, Wykeham, Snainton, Hackness, Newby and Scalby, Burniston, Cloughton, Staintondale and Ravenscar.

During the voting event Ayton Village Hall was packed to capacity with stands set up by organisations and the voting public.

Cllr David Jeffels, chairman of the Scarborough Council’s Rural Voice Your Choice Committee said: “We were grateful for the patience of the many people who came along to vote because of the keen interest by both organisations and the public. But it proved how strong community interest is in the rural areas.”

The Ayton event was the first of two public voting events where residents of the rural area, aged 11-years-old or over, can vote for which community projects they a share of the money to go to.

The second phase of the voting was taking place today at Scarborough Rugby Club headquarters between noon and 2pm.

“The organisations bidding for funds staged some excellent displays and their promoters were extremely enthusiastic in encouraging people to vote for them,” said Cllr Jeffels.

“As a result many hundreds of people from toddlers to pensioners stand to benefit from this quite revolutionary voting system because people were empowered to decide which projects they considered most worthwhile. The quality of life and facilities for a large number of rural residents will certainly be enhanced when the money is allocated.”