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Thousands denied vote in Shropshire Council elections

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

More than 20,000 people, including an entire town, will not get the chance to vote in next month's Shropshire Council elections, it was revealed today.

Six divisions in the county are going uncontested. It means 22,000 eligible voters will not have the chance to go to the polls, including everyone in Whitchurch.

The affected divisions are Corvedale, Shawbury, St Oswald, The Meres, Whitchurch North and Whitchurch South.

All of the uncontested seats will be taken up by Conservative councillors.

The wards represent seven seats in total, with Whitchurch North having two.

The Electoral Reform Society today called the situation a 'scandal'. Shropshire Council says it received insufficient nominations to hold contests in the wards.

Darren Hughes, a director at the Electoral Reform Society, said: "There's something very wrong with democracy in Shropshire when 22,000 people won't get to cast a vote on polling day.

"Shropshire's uncontested seats are a scandal. Our broken First Past the Post voting system has turned swathes of the county to One Party fiefdoms, which opposition parties simply won't touch. The fact Labour and the Liberal Democrats aren't even going through the motions of putting up paper candidates speaks volumes about how rotten this borough has become."

Keith Barrow, Conservative leader of Shropshire Council, said: "We have made sure we had candidates up in all these places – it is a pity others haven't done the same.

Alan Mosley, leader of the Labour group, said: "We have chosen seats where we have a reasonable chance of success, particularly in Shrewsbury."

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