Cliviger villagers angry over polling station closure

Coun. Cosima Towneley with Cliviger Parish Council chairman Mr Alan Pickles and residents angry at the closure of one of the village's polling station (s)
Coun. Cosima Towneley with Cliviger Parish Council chairman Mr Alan Pickles and residents angry at the closure of one of the village's polling station (s)

A BURNLEY councillor and villagers have hit out at plans to close one of two polling stations in Cliviger.

Coun. Cosima Towneley said the proposals, approved at the latest meeting of Burnley Council, were pushed through without any consultation with residents and said the move would lead to fewer people turning out to vote.

The plans will see the RACA pavilion in the Park Road play area no longer used as a polling station with all Cliviger residents having to cast their votes in the village hall, at the opposite side of the village.

Coun. Towneley and Cliviger Parish Council wrote letters opposed to the proposals but Coun. Towneley said their objections fell on deaf ears.

“It’s not the most commodious place but what they are suggesting is that everyone has to go to the far end of the parish, almost at the borough boundary, to vote. I call that disenfranchisement myself.

“Everyone I have spoken to in the village is against it. We all know how postal votes can be rigged.

“For many people coming home from work it’s in completely the wrong direction.

“Once they go home, they won’t come out again to vote.”

As well as changes to polling stations in Cliviger, St John’s Primary School in Thames Avenue will be used instead of Casterton Avenue Primary School and, from May 2013, the polling station at Worsthorne Reading Rooms will be moved to Worsthorne Primary School.