Poor elec­tion turn- out sparks call

Solihull News - - FAITH MATTERS - DAVID IR­WIN Lo­cal Democ­racy Re­porter

ONLY a third of Soli­hull adults who are el­i­gi­ble to vote ac­tu­ally cast their bal­lot pa­pers in the most re­cent lo­cal elec­tions.

Soli­hull Coun­cil urged res­i­dents to regis­ter and “play your part” in fu­ture po­lit­i­cal con­tests, as it marked Lo­cal Democ­racy Week.

The lo­cal au­thor­ity tweeted the most re­cent turn- out, not­ing that from an elec­torate of 159,296, only 47,196 ac­tu­ally voted in May.

And the pro­por­tion of peo­ple who took part in a by- elec­tion in Blythe a cou­ple of months ear­lier was even lower.

Around 16 per cent had par­tic­i­pated in the con­test, al­though win­try weather that week is thought to have played its part in keep­ing peo­ple from the polling sta­tion.

Kathryn Thomas, who was a can­di­date in this year’s coun­cil elec­tions, urged peo­ple to make sure they had their say.

“Vot­ing al­ways makes a dif­fer­ence,” said Ms Thomas, who stood for the Lib­eral Democrats in St Alphege ward.

“It makes your voice and opin­ion im­por­tant. Sim­ply by post­ing a form or putting a cross on a piece of pa­per, you are say­ing you care about your lo­cal com­mu­nity and your opin­ions and re­quire­ments need to be lis­tened to.”

Lo­cal Democ­racy Week is a Euro­pean- wide event de­signed to pro­mote grass­roots en­gage­ment in the demo­cratic process.

A lo­cal elec­tion count at North Soli­hull Sports Cen­tre

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