Call for recount in election blunder
COUNCIL bosses are to apply to a court to reopen ballot boxes after it was revealed that some voters were given the wrong voting papers.
Officials want to recount papers after voters from Gawsworth were given ballot slips at the Ivy Bank Primary School polling station allowing them to vote in the new town council election.
Cheshire East Council has begun legal proceedings to analyse and recount the result for the South ward.
The situation has been branded ‘shambolic’ by Labour councillors.
The council will now apply to Macclesfield County Court for the right to open up the ballot boxes.
The two seats were won Labour candidate Neil Puttick and Conservative candidates Chris Andrew.
But with only 156 votes between four candidates – which also included Labour’s Fiona Wilson, and Tory Brad Snelling – it is feared there could now be a different election result.
The council has been unable to confirm the number of invalid votes and has called the error ‘regrettable’.
Candidates have been advised by the council not to comment on the situation but Councillor Sam Corcoran, Cheshire East Council Labour Group spokesman, slammed the blunder as ‘shambolic’.
He said: “How on earth can Cheshire East Council make such a big mistake?
“The candidates weren’t told about this error until two hours before the count.
“I have serious misgivings about how this has been handled.”
Labour stalwart councillor Janet Jackson believes the recount could produce a new result.
She said: “We believe that 240 residents from Gawsworth, a Conservative supporting area, were incorrectly allowed to vote. We fought so hard for this election.
“It’s very disappointing that this has happened for everyone involved.”
The council will be hoping to correct the error by May 21 when the new town council is due to meet for the first time.
A spokesman for Cheshire East Council said: “Owing to an administrative error an application will be made to the County Court for the ballot papers of those voters who were not registered for this election to be identified and extracted, with the secrecy of the ballot being maintained at all times.
“There will then be a recalculation of the ballots cast.
“The returning officer regrets that this has become necessary but the required legal process is clear.” ●● A BAND of musicians are celebrating after excelling in a national competition.
Macclesfield-based Silk Brass has been promoted to the First Section of a national competition.
The band came fourth out of a field of 16 bands from the North West area at the Regional Brass Band Championships held at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens and gained promotion to the First Section.
Bandmaster Bob Goodwin said: “It was a great performance by the band and we now look forward to contesting in the First Section next year”.
You can see the band in Concert at 7.30pm on Sunday, May 17, at Daneside Theatre in Congleton.
The Concert is to be a Memorial Concert in tribute to Ben Bailey who died last year and was a great follower and a huge supporter of the band.
Tickets cost £8 from Sandra Birch on 07773 103656 or on the door on the evening. All the proceeds will be split between Age UK and Silk Brass.
●● Labour councillor Janet Jackson