Council chief slammed over polling fiasco

Polling day pandemonium at Broughton Pavilion
Polling day pandemonium at Broughton Pavilion

The council’s chief executive has been criticised by the electoral commission for failings that prompted polling day 

Returning officer Carole Mills has been given a rap on the knuckles after a performance review found issues with the number of electors allocated to Broughton Pavilion.

Despite rules forbidding more than 2,500 voters at one polling station, 3,096 people from Broughton, Broughton Gate and Brooklands queued for hours to cast their vote - and up to 100 were turned away at the eleventh hour after police were called in.

Broughton Councillor John Bint believes more could have been done to avoid the chaos. He said: “Carole Mills had the numbers - it was no great surprise.She had been advised much earlier in the day by officers and candidates that this was being poorly organised so she knew it was deeply problematic.

“By all accounts she did nothing and at no point was there an explanation.

“Her questionable decision making was having all three wards in one building, and splitting them so that the biggest and smallest went together. Basic arthmatic tells you that is not a good idea.”

The report stated that the increasein electors “should have been picked up during planning”. It saidthe impact on voters was “significant”.

This week a spokesman said the council had already made changes.

“Once we knew there were delays we acted very quickly, making sure that everyone who was in the queue was still able to vote,” he said.