Shropshire Star

New voter ID rules see three people turned away from polling station in by-election

Three electors who turned up to vote in a parish council by-election last week were unable to cast their ballots due to not having ID.

Three electors fell foul of the new voter ID rules

The poll to fill a vacancy on Albrighton Parish Council was the first test of voter identification requirements in Shropshire Council’s area, after new legislation came into effect earlier this year.

The authority has now revealed six people were turned away from the polling station on Thursday, though three returned later in the day and were able to vote.

A total of 601 votes were cast, representing just 17.77 per cent of the total electorate of 3,383.

New councillor Jan Gold won the seat with 289 votes, ahead of David Benson with 262 and Penny Higgs with 43.

The vacancy had arisen after the resignation of former parish councillor Ron Cotterill in May.

Electors in other parts of Shropshire are now being urged to check they have an accepted form of ID ahead of a series of upcoming by-elections and referendums.

Anyone who does not have ID can apply for a voter authority certificate (VAC).

A by-election will be held in the Shropshire Council division of Worfield on September 7, to fill a vacancy left by the resignation of cabinet member Richard Marshall last month.

Anyone wishing to stand in the election has until 4pm next Thursday to get their nominations papers in, with candidates expected to be announced next Friday.

The same day, a referendum will be held in the parish of Pontesbury on the adoption of a neighbourhood plan for the area.

Wheathill Parish Council will also hold a by-election on August 24, for two new councillors to be chosen. It follows the resignation of former councillors Joe Watton and Julie Bosworth.

Four candidates have come forward to contest the vacant seats – Sue Crichton, Suzanne Digwood, Gaynor Preece and Steve Sutcliffe.

A by-election is also being planned to fill a vacancy on Bridgnorth Town Council, representing Morfe ward, following the resignation of Councillor Rollon Leraistre. Details will be announced in due course.