Voters in Lichfield and Burntwood are being reassured that polling stations will be safe when local elections take place next month.

Face masks and bottles of sanitiser are being distributed as part of plans to ensure voting stations are Covid-secure across Staffordshire.

Residents will go to the polls to elect county councillors and a new Staffordshire Commissioner. By-elections will take place in some areas, while a referendum on the Burntwood Neighbourhood Plan will also take place.

John Henderson, chief executive of Staffordshire County Council, said:

“There has been a great deal of work behind the scenes to prepare so people can cast their vote safely on 6th May.

“We expect people will be wearing their own masks and we are encouraging them to bring their own pen too, but we are distributing more than 120,000 face masks to polling stations for use if necessary, as well as 5,000 bottles of sanitiser and thousands of small pencils.”

John Henderson, Staffordshire County Council

Polling stations will also feature screens, social distancing markers and regular cleaning in a bid to keep voters and staff safe.

“Each polling station has been reviewed and some, but not all, of those at schools have moved to other locations nearby.

“Where a school is being used as a polling station, officials are going through all the detail with the school to ensure it’s all done in a Covid-compliant way.

“Polling station addresses are printed on the voting card that most people should have received by now, so if there is a change of location from the usual venue it will be shown on the card.

“I would encourage everyone who is able to cast their vote to have their say in how millions of pounds are spent on providing services locally and I think that for those people who are choosing to vote in person the experience will feel the same as going to the shop or something similar.”

John Henderson, Staffordshire County Council

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