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Parties in West Lancashire are determined to increase turn-out

Frustration as voting figures dip under 40%

Election turn out graph

West Lancashire’s two main parties are looking to increase turn-out further after less than 40% voted in the May elections.

Turn-out for local council elections has increased slightly since 2006 and was considerably higher in 2010 when the general election took place.

New Conservative group leader Cllr Adrian Owens said: “People turn out and vote in elections when they consider that the elections matter. 

“Locally, in the recent elections, we saw that voters turn out in greater numbers when there is something important at stake. 

“There was increased turn-out especially in the two closely-fought wards of Knowsley and Burscough East. 

“So political parties can help boost turn-out by offering distinctive policies and providing the electorate with a choice.

“Beyond that, there is more that can be done to improve education about the political system.

“The council participates in Local Democracy Week each year with local schools and so plays its part.”

Labour group leader Cllr Roger Bell said: “We are just about to discuss this very issue at the local party’s next meeting.

“I think that it is very frustrating that some people don’t vote as I do think it is important.

“We have already started work on our campaign for next year and part of that is to get people out to vote.

“The UKIP vote has taught a few lessons that politicians are not held in high regards.I think that we need to do a much better job of gaining their trust and getting out to vote. When you get someone who has a message, that gets people out to vote.”

A council spokesperson said: “Elections are a very important way of having a say on local issues as they offer residents the chance to vote for people who will take decisions that affect their everyday lives.

“The council would therefore always actively encourage everyone to make use of their vote.

“To clarify the result for the Derby ward in the 2014 borough council elections, Paul Greenall held the seat for the Conservatives.

“The full result was: Paul Cotterill (Labour) 585, Heather Doyle (Green Party) 245 and Paul Greenall (Conservative) 832.”