Many Leicestershire residents will be heading to some rather unusual venues when they go to vote in the county council elections next month.
Across the county, pubs, churches, libraries, a fire station and even a carpet shop are to be used as polling stations on election day, May 6.
Traditionally schools have often been used as voting venues, but this year, returning officers across the country have been urged to find alternative locations where possible in a bid to minimise disruption for pupils who have already missed much time off school due to the pandemic.
“I’d urge people to take the time to vote on May 6 and so have their say on who represents them. County council services play a key part in our daily lives and by using your vote you can help shape the future of local road maintenance, schools, social care and recycling, to name but a few.
“We want to ensure that everyone who is entitled to vote is able to do so, regardless of the pandemic. Polling stations will be Covid-secure, but you can also choose to apply to vote by post or proxy.”Person:Graeme Wardle, head of member services at Leicestershire County Council
The county council provides a wide range of services including adult social care, children's social care, public health, transport, education, planning, road maintenance, libraries, waste management and trading standards.
This year Leicestershire residents will be voting in elections for both the county council and the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner. In some areas, electors will also be voting in local by-elections and referenda.
Among the unlikely places where votes will be cast this year are the 14th century All Saints Church in Kirkby Mallory; Wigston Fire Station and Keith’s Discount Carpet shop in Oadby Road.
Pubs being used as polling stations include The Nags Head at Saltby; the Wheel Inn at Branston; The Crown at Tur Langton and the restaurant of the Dog and Gun in Kilby.
Social distancing and other safety measures will be in place at all polling stations. These will include distance markings, hand sanitiser and screens where appropriate. Voters should wear face coverings and are encouraged to take their own pen or pencil with which to mark their ballot paper.
There are 55 county councillors in Leicestershire - and all seats are up for election
Around 550,000 people are eligible to vote
People in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland can also vote in the Police and Crime Commissioner election on 6 May
9 April: Election candidates published
19 April: Deadline to register to vote
20 April: Deadline to apply for a postal vote
6 May: Polls open from 7am until 10pm
7 May: Vote count starts at 11.30am
To find out more, go to www.leicestershire.gov.uk/election2021