When the signal for a general election is
called, in councils like ours that means an awful lot of activity. We’ve got something
like 350 polling stations, like the one behind me here at Muggleswick, and we’ve got to
ensure all of the people that are actually accepting those votes and the ballot stations
are staffed of course and that means a big logistical exercise. And when the votes are actually cast they
need to be all returned from right across the County to either Stanley or Spennymoor.
And of course those general elections, generally happen during the summer time, in May typically.
This one is very unusual indeed, it’s the first since 1923 that’s actually occurred
in December. Which means that there’s an added need to prepare our plans and contingencies
in relation through to snowy weather for instance, to prepare for that or in relation through
to floods or in relation through to the slippy-ness of footpaths. This message is really just to assure people
that not only have we got the normal winter operations in place, all of the gritters out
doing their job. They’re actually extending their reach to ensure all of the polling stations
are covered. Yeah there’s a few groups of men. Some will
actually be working on the morning and the night of the election. There will be some
people also on call, which if called can respond and be anywhere within an hour. There’s about 40 dedicated gritters which
will be out, there are some other gritters contracted which can be called. There’ll
be over 30 routes, morning and night. We’ve got contingencies in place in relation
through to the risks of localised flooding, we’ll have information readily available
with regards to alternative routes. Having said all of that, we’re not being
complacent about that. It’s just to assure people that we’ve got a wide range of measures
in place, in order to help people get out and exercise their democratic right to vote. We want as many people doing that of course as we can. If you have mislaid your polling card, there is no need to worry, you can still come along and vote. If you’ve if you’ve forgot to post your postal vote you can actually come along and present that as well.