Poor turn-out at Taunton polling stations for Police Crime Commissioner elections

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By abbie_taunton | Thursday, November 15, 2012, 17:10

Deserted polling stations across Taunton suggest that the Somerset PCC election turn-out is unlikely to be high.

The stations opened their doors to the public at 7am this morning giving residents the chance to vote for a local Police Crime Commissioner, who will act as watchdog over the Somerset police force.

Wellsprings Leisure Centre in Taunton was transformed into a voting hub for the day and a by 2pm only 31 people had made their way into the booths.

A volunteer handing out voting slips at the local Leisure Centre said: "It's hard to know what the turn-out is going to be for an election, you never know how low or high it will be,

"Today's turn-out, in my opinion, is particularly low."

Taunton Library, the most central polling station in the town, did not fare much better.

Sarah Payne, a Presiding Officer helping voters at the library, said: "Although I can't give the exact figures, the turn-out here today is extremely low - lower than I would have thought.

"However I didn't have high hopes for this election and was not expecting there to be a big turn-out at all, so it's no big surprise."

Other polling stations in the area including Trull Memorial Hall and Rowbarton Methodist Church looked to be completely deserted this afternoon.

Tony, 58, from Taunton was out in the town Christmas shopping and said he hadn't bothered to vote.

He said: "I had no idea it was even today to be honest. I don't see the point in voting for this, I really don't.

"It's a big waste of money if you ask me and I can't say I feel particular fondness for any of the candidates."

Many of the polling stations have signs up telling voters to prepare for queues if they decide to leave voting until the last minute.

Election results are expected to be announced tomorrow and the new PCC will begin his or her £85,000-a-year role on Thursday, November 22.

The role of the PCC will be to act as watchdog over the police, holding police chief constables and the force to account and making them answerable to their communities.

The four candidates for Avon and Somerset are Pete Levy (Liberal Democrat), Ken Maddock (Conservative), Sue Mountstevens (Independent) and John Savage (Labour).

For more information on the candidates, click here.

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