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Voter numbers 'steady' across South Lakeland polling stations
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
CONS: Caroline Airey, of Little Urswick
LAB: David John Webster, of Ulverston
LIB DEM: Loraine Birchall, of Great Urswick
GREEN: Chris Loynes, of Ulverston
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
CONS: Micky Pierson, of Helsington
LAB: Virginia Elizabeth Branney, of Kendal
LIB DEM: Giles Archibald, of Kendal
GREEN: Gwen Harrison, of Kendal
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
CONS: Bill Wearing, of Grange
LAB: Marilyn Molloy, of Kendal
LIB DEM: Philip Dixon, of Windermere
GREEN: Rachael Passant-Coy, of Kendal
CONS: Elizabeth Cartmell, of Crosthwaite
LAB: Tony Rothwell, of Kendal
LIB DEM: Alvin Finch, of Kendal
GREEN: Chris Rowley, of Kendal
CONS: Ian Frederick Keeling, of Troutbeck Bridge
LAB: Jim Barker, of Kendal
LIB DEM: David Evans, of Kendal
GREEN: Karen Mitchell, of Kendal
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
CONS: Nigel Ronald Byrom, of Kendal
LAB: Florence Ann Scullard, of Grange
LIB DEM: Jonathan Brook, of Kendal
GREEN: Mandy Barnett, of Kendal
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
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
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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