Kidsgrove resident Mary Maxfield wrote a letter to the Editor of The Sentinel which was published in the paper last night. The Sentinel has made the choice (as it is able to do so) to omit some of the content of the letter which Mary Maxfield had sent to the paper. As a result we thought that it was only fair to publish the letter in full.
Dear Sir "Sir The Kidsgrove Ward Bi Election held on 10 May 2012 was a very disappointing turnout. It was called because a former Labour Party Councillor was disqualified and imprisoned for assault on his girlfriend. The official turnout, including postal votes, was a dismal and shocking 18% of the Ward electorate. This surpassed the low turnout which was recorded in the 3 May 2012 election.
The Kidsgrove Ward comprises 5282 registered voters of which only 648 actually bothered to turn out and vote on the 10 May. Considering the polling stations were open from 7 am until 10 pm and contained 3 members of staff on average, imagine the cost of this election per voter. This is a shocking figure for the size of Kidsgrove and shows how disappointing for all parties this was.
More shocking is the number of postal votes which contributed to the result. There were 562 registered postal voters and 298 (53%) returned the postal ballot paper. This makes up 32% of the vote on 10 May.It would be interesting to learn the voting methods used in the different areas of Kidsgrove (there are 4 polling areas). It does not matter how we look at these figures. The cold hard facts show that only 13.72% of the Kidsgrove electorate could be bothered to go out and vote which highlights how little faith many have in the local political system.
The losing Parties were very disappointed with their results obviously but alas National politics played a great part in deciding this election and last week's. I have always felt that a candidate ought to be elected on their reputation, aspirations, qualities and in particular how they would serve and speak up for the community as a whole rather than on the Party they represent.
Labour have now taken control of Newcastle Borough Council. The previous Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition will be a hard act to follow and the Labour Party will have to work extremely hard to surpass their achievements. I wish them luck!!"
Mary Maxfield Kidsgrove