Voter numbers 'steady' across South Lakeland polling stations

The Westmorland Gazette: Kirkby Lonsdale goes to the polls Kirkby Lonsdale goes to the polls

POLLING stations were reporting 'steady' numbers of people through the doors today.

Elections are taking place today to choose candidates to the European parliament, South Lakeland District Council, and parish councils.

Seventeen seats are up on SLDC - a third of the council chamber, 28 to Kendal Town Council and 12 people are contesting 11 seats to Sedbergh Parish Council.

People are also voting on who they would like to see shout for the North West in Europe.

Ballot papers for the local elections to SLDC and Kendal Town Council will be counted tomorrow (Friday) at Kendal Leisure Centre.

Results are expected to start being announced from around 1.30pm.

The results of the European elections will be announced on Sunday due to the millions of people eligible to vote.

In a new development this afternoon, SLDC confirmed it has received complaints from some political parties relating to procedures around polling stations.

A spokesman said: "We have been made aware of some concerns raised about activities at polling stations during today’s election and we are looking in to those concerns."

In Kendal, opposition candidates chatted with each other in the drizzle outside the Hallgarth Community Centre this morning.

Voting is taking place there to choose a person to represent the Underley ward on SLDC.

It has become something of a political hotseat with six candidates standing - the widest choice of candidates across all 17 seats being contested.

Rob Boden is also the only Independent candidate of 72 people standing in the SLDC elections.

Mr Boden said of voter numbers this morning: "It has seemed steady. Regardless of what politicians want, all the people of Hallgarth want is someone to stand up for their community, and to live on a quiet residential estate."

Jim Blamire was at the station as a 'teller' for Labour, where the party's chairman, Paul Braithwaite is standing for Underley.

Mr Blamire, formerly a councillor for 16 years, said the drizzly weather had not made a noticeable difference on turnout so far and that around a third of votes now are cast through the post.

Holding a waspish yellow and black Lib Dems umbrella, Matt Severn is hoping to take the Underley seat after representing them on Kendal Town Council. He said he had got up at 4am to put leaflets through doors and was accompaned on his rounds by fellow Lib Dem John McCreesh.

Also standing for Underley is Vanessa Moss for the Greens, Susan Bownass for UKIP and Karen Dawson for the Conservatives.

The Conservatives' local office manager, Andrew Gardiner, said the party faithful had been out leafleting target wards from 5am as well as knocking on doors and making telephone calls (later in the day).

One of the Tories' candidates has gone 'old school' this time as part of his campaign tactics.

Kendal businessman Nigel Byrom, 60, has fitted out one of his vans to be a 'battlebus' to tour the streets of Kendal Parks in a nod to the traditional way of local election campaigning.

Mr Byrom, who has stood in four district council elections, said: "We're basically going back to how politicians campaigned 50 years ago - on traditional values. We are more organised this time and we're up for it."

Also standing in the Kendal Parks ward are Mandy Barnett for the Green Party, Jonathan Brook for the Lib Dems, and Florence Scullard for Labour.

The Kendal Green Party said its candidates and supporters are out today - trying to encourage a high turnout in both the local and European elections.

"We've been knocking on doors and using email and social media to remind our supporters and undecided voters that they can make a difference in these important elections," said a spokeswoman.

UKIP are standing in four wards across the SLDC elections and are hoping for gains in Europe.

The SLDC ward with the largest electorate, Sedbergh and Kirkby Lonsdale, sees around 5,000 people eligible to vote.

Those on the doors of the Institute in Kirkby Lonsdale, reported around 40 people voting during 11am and midday today.

Sheila Curtis, 61, and husband Mick, 62, from Kirkby Lonsdale, said it was important for everyone to use their democratic right.

Mrs Curtis said: "I want someone to represent me, or at least as close to our opinions as possible, because you will never get exact representation although they try their best. People can be quick to complain but you can't complain if you don't vote."

"Particularly this year which is the anniversary of the start of the First World War where people fought for us and lost their lives so we can live in a democracy."

Husband Mick, 62, said: "I do think politicians have taken us for granted in the past - especially all these career politicians but nonetheless, it's still important to vote."

 

Here's the full list of wards and candidates for SLDC

 

AMBLESIDE AND GRASMERE

CONS: Jessie Micaal Alston, of Lupton

LAB: Rebecca Sarah Costello, of Ambleside

LIB DEM: Heidi Halliday, of Ambleside

GREEN: Angela Towers, of Kendal 

 

MID FURNESS

CONS: Caroline Airey, of Little Urswick

LAB: David John Webster, of Ulverston

LIB DEM: Loraine Birchall, of Great Urswick

GREEN: Chris Loynes, of Ulverston

 

KENDAL CASTLE

CONS: Eric Hookway, of Kendal

LIB DEM: Chris Hogg, of Kendal

GREEN: Liz Ashburn, of Kendal

UKIP: Paul Joseph Martin, of Ulverston

 

KENDAL FAR CROSS

CONS: Lyndsay Elizabeth Slater, of Kendal

LAB: Ian Geoffrey Law, of Kendal

LIB DEM: Shirley Evans, of Kendal

GREEN: Daphne Jackson, of Killington

 

KENDAL FELL

CONS: Micky Pierson, of Helsington

LAB: Virginia Elizabeth Branney, of Kendal

LIB DEM: Giles Archibald, of Kendal

GREEN: Gwen Harrison, of Kendal

 

KENDAL STONECROSS

CONS: Mel Mackie, of Casterton

LAB: Lois Katherine Sparling, of Kendal

LIB DEM: Sylvia Emmott, of Kendal

GREEN: Rory William Paxton Black, of Kendal

UKIP: Stephen Wilmott, of Underbarrow

 

KENDAL HERON HILL

CONS: Paul Jonathan Rodman, of Kendal

LAB: Judith Law, of Kendal

LIB DEM: Phil Walker, of Kendal

GREEN: Claire Wickham, of Kendal

 

KENDAL HIGHGATE

CONS: Bill Wearing, of Grange

LAB: Marilyn Molloy, of Kendal

LIB DEM: Philip Dixon, of Windermere

GREEN: Rachael Passant-Coy, of Kendal

 

KENDAL KIRKLAND

CONS: Elizabeth Cartmell, of Crosthwaite

LAB: Tony Rothwell, of Kendal

LIB DEM: Alvin Finch, of Kendal

GREEN: Chris Rowley, of Kendal

 

KENDAL MINTSFEET

CONS: Ian Frederick Keeling, of Troutbeck Bridge

LAB: Jim Barker, of Kendal

LIB DEM: David Evans, of Kendal

GREEN: Karen Mitchell, of Kendal

 

KENDAL NETHER

CONS: Derrick Wade, of Burneside

LAB: Alison Gilchrist, of Kendal

LIB DEM: Clare Feeney-Johnson, of Kendal

GREEN: Andy Mason, of Kendal

 

OXENHOLME AND NATLAND

CONS: Patrick Birchall, of Kendal

LAB: John Anthony Bateson, of Oxenholme

LIB DEM: Brenda Gray, of Hincaster

GREEN: Jocelyn Gaskell, of Grange

 

KENDAL PARKS

CONS: Nigel Ronald Byrom, of Kendal

LAB: Florence Ann Scullard, of Grange

LIB DEM: Jonathan Brook, of Kendal

GREEN: Mandy Barnett, of Kendal

 

KENDAL STRICKLAND

CONS: Stephen Peter Chambers, of Allithwaite

LAB: Jim Ring, of Kendal

LIB DEM: Stephen Coleman, of Kendal

GREEN: Kate Willshaw, of Kendal

UKIP: Malcolm James Hamilton Nightingale, of Kendal

 

KENDAL UNDERLEY

CONS: Karen Patricia Dawson, of Kendal

LAB: Paul Michael Braithwaite, of Kendal

LIB DEM: Matt Severn, of Kendal

GREEN: Vanessa Moss, of Kendal

UKIP: Susan Mary Bownass, of Kendal

INDEPENDENT: Rob Boden, of Kendal

 

KENDAL ROMNEY

CONS: Mike Nicholson, of Kendal

LAB: Dave Cope, of Kendal

LIB DEM: Graham Vincent, of Kendal

GREEN: Adam Sandell, of Mansergh

 

SEDBERGH AND KIRKBY LONSDALE

CONS: Kevin John Lancaster, of Sedbergh

LAB: Martin Denis Holborn, of Casterton

LIB DEM: Ron Bulman, of Casterton

GREEN: Andi Chapple, of Sedbergh

 

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