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Burntwood councillor welcomes review of County Council election procedures

A review of the procedure behind Staffordshire County Council’s elections has been welcomed by one of the unsuccessful candidates.

Lichfield District Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee will discuss the report – which has recommended a number of improvements – when it meets tomorrow.

Cllr Steve Norman

Cllr Steve Norman

And the District Council’s opposition Labour group leader Cllr Steve Norman, who missed out on a seat in the County Council vote, says the review is welcome.

“I asked for this report to come to a Scrutiny Meeting mainly because of the long delay between the verification of the ballot papers at the count and when the count actually started,” he said.

“There were other issues as well and I welcome this detailed report.

“Ever since I stood in Lichfield District in 1995 I have tried to get the draft announcement of the result – which is given to the agent and candidate – changed to the same as all others in the county that I have been involved in.

“With our new Chief Executive that happened and I am grateful for that.”

The report acknowledged improvements could be made but said the County Council elections were “administered efficiently”.

All of the points that have been raised will be considered for the European Elections in 2014.

A number of suggestions were made by individuals involved in the election in the review by Lichfield District Council, who handle all elections across the city and Burntwood.

And Cllr Norman believes there was a worrying level of “ignorance” behind some of the ideas.

He explained: “Some of the suggestions made by people in the feedback are amazing, especially if they come from candidates or agents and show and incredible amount of ignorance of the process.

“For instance, reducing polling hours, using scales to count ballot papers and, perhaps the most scary of them all, only give rural voters the option of a postal vote where there has been a low turnout!”

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1 Comment

  1. Steve Norman

    12th September, 2013 at 10:29 am

    If well know Lichfield LibDem activist, Ian Jackson, is reading this I wonder if he will apologise for claiming at the count that council officers had been told that he could be acting agent for the (absent) Lib/Dem Independent candidate, and his former Deputy at LDC, Paul Atkins. When officers have now confirmed to me that he was not!