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LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTION FOR HIGHWORTH TOWN COUNCIL HELD ON 2ND MAY 2019

Notice ID: SW4380177

Notice effective from
20th June 2019 to 20th July 2019

REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT 1983

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTION FOR HIGHWORTH TOWN COUNCIL HELD ON 2ND MAY 2019 Notice is hereby given that a petition has been presented in the High Court on behalf of the petitioner, Keith Smith of Flat 35 High Street, Highworth. The petition shows:

1. That the Petitioner is a person who was a candidate at the above election and is therefore capable of filing this Petition pursuant to section 128(1) of the Representation of the People Act 1983.



2. That the election was held on the second day of May, 2019 when Kim Barber, Alan John Bishop, Julia Hazel Bishop, Jamie Louise Cope, Gerald Edwards, Gerald Ralph Evans, Nicholas David Gardiner, Lesley Ann Gow, Julie Ann Murphy, Paul David Newton-Smith, Graeme William John Olley, Maureen Rita Penny, Kenneth Charles Saunders, Keith Smith, Lynn Vardy, Pauline Margaret Webster, Steven Mark Weisnger, Richard Matthew Williams, Simon Vivian Wolfensohn, were candidates, and on the third day of May, 2019, the Returning Officer declared Alan John Bishop, Julia Hazel Bishop, Gerald Ralph Evans, Nicholas David Gardiner, Julie Ann Murphy, Paul David Newton-Smith, Graeme William John Olley, Maureen Rita Penney, Kenneth Charles Saunders, Lynn Vardy, Pauline Margaret Webster, Steven Mark Weisinger, Richard Matthew Williams, Simon Vivian Wolfensohn were to be duly elected.



3. The ground for this election petition is that:-



a. the candidates that were declared as elected on the third May 2019, were not duly elected in accordance section 127(b) of the Representation of the People Act 1983.

i. That the Returning Officer and her staff carried out the electoral process in a defective manner and in particular have made a significant error in the counting and application of the "'block vote", applicable when a voter places a check mark indicating that they wish for all of their votes to be cast for the same party.



ii. It is asserted that a block vote of 2650 was allocated to each of the 10 candidates from a particular party, but that the entire block vote allocation was only 2650 votes.



iii. As a result the Returning Officer has returned erroneous election results confirming the number of votes cast for 10 of the 19 candidates that significantly exceed the number of ballot papers issued.



iv. The number of ballot papers issued was 2477, 20 of these papers were returned spoiled, leaving a total of 2457. All 10 of the candidates who were allocated the erroneous block vote, each were declared to have received in between 3112 to 3394 votes.



v. The Returning Officer has apologised and publicly admitted that an error has been made but advised that she is unable to perform a recount of the ballot papers, without an Order from this Court. The Returning Officer has also publicly stated that she will not defend this petition.



vi. Further, the Returning Officer has published on the

'swindon.gov.uk'

website results of the election in which she states inter alia as follows:-



It is very clear that there has been an error or in the numbers given in the declaration of the election for Highworth Parish Council.

The votes allocated to some candidates are incorrect. I cannot be certain that this has had an impact on the candidates elected as I am unable

in law to recount the ballot papers once I have declared the results of the election.

4. For the purposes of section 129(1) of the Representation of the People Act 1983, the Petitioner is required to file this Petition on or before 24th May 2019.



5. A copy of the exact declaration of result of poll is annexed herewith The Petitioner therefore prays:-



(1)That it is determined that the said error of the Returning Officer and her staff is corrected by ordering a recount of the ballot papers by Swindon Borough Council and/or by an Officer appointed by the Court for that purpose, in order to declare that Alan John Bishop, Julia Hazel Bishop, Gerald Ralph Evans, Nicholas David Gardiner, Julie Ann Murphy, Paul David Newton-Smith, Graeme William John Olley, Maureen Rita Penny, Kenneth Charles Saunders, Keith Smith, Lynn Vardy, Pauline Margaret Webster, Steven Marie Weisinger, Richard Matthew Williams, Simon Vivian Wolfensohn were not duly elected in accordance with the Representation of the People Act 1983 s127(b) and enable an accurate return of the result for the Parish of Highworth.

(2) That the Court declares that the election held on the 2nd May 2019 and the declarations made on the 3rd May 2019 are invalid pursuant to section 48 of the Representation of the People Act 1983.



(3) That the petitioner may have such further and/or other relief as may be just.



(4) Costs



ANNEX - DECLARATION OF RESULT OF POLL Borough of Swindon Election for Parish Councillors for Highworth on Thursday 2 May 2019

I, Susie Kemp, being the Returning Officer at the above election, do hereby give notice that the number of votes recorded for each

Candidate at the said election is as follows:

Name of Candidate

Description (if any)

Number of Votes

BARBER Kim

Independent

862

BISHOP, Alan John

The Conservative Party Candidate

3394 Elected

BISHOP, Julia Hazel

The Conservative Party Candidate

3260 Elected

COPE, Jamie Louise

Labour Party Candidate

1017

EDWARDS, Gerald

Labour Party Candidate

952

EVANS, Gerald Ralph

The Conservative Party Candidate

3200 Elected

GARDINER, Nicholas David

The Conservative Party Candidate

3294 Elected

GOW, Leslev Ann

Labour Party Candidate

915

MURPHY, Julie Ann

The Conservative Party Candidate

3118 Elected

NEWTON-SMITH, Paul David

Independent

1217 Elected

OLLEY, Graeme William John

The Conservative Party Candidate

3125 Elected

PENNY, Maureen Rita

The Conservative Party Candidate

3254 Elected

SAUNDERS, Kenneth Charles

Independent

1230 Elected

SMITH, Keith

Independent

1172 Elected

VARDY, Lynn

The Conservative Party Candidate

3273 Elected

WEBSTER, Pauline Margaret

The Conservative Party Candidate

3112 Elected

WEISINGER, Steven Mark

The Conservative Party Candidate

3304 Elected

WILLIAMS, Richard Matthew

Independent

1140 Elected

WOLFENSOHN, Simon Vivian

Independent

1110 Elected

The number of ballot papers rejected was as follows:

Number of ballot papers

A want of official mark

0

B voting for more Candidates than voter entitled to

2

C writing or mark by which voter could be identified

0

D being unmarked or wholly void for uncertainty

18

E rejected in part

1

Total

20

Vacant Seats: 15 Electorate: 6408



Ballot Papers Issued: 2477 Turnout 38.65%



And I do hereby declare that, Alan John Bishop, Julia Hazel Bishop, Gerald Ralph Evans, Nicholas David Gardiner, Julie Ann Murphy, Paul David Newton-Smith, Graeme Wllllam John Olley, Maureen Rita Penny, Kenneth Charles Saunders, Keith Smith, Lynn Vardy, Pauline Margaret Webster, Steven Mark Weisinger, Richard Matthew Williams, Simon Vivian Wolfensohn are duly elected.

3rd May 2019

Ms Susie Kemp

issued by the Returning Officer for the Swindon Borough Council, Civic Offices, Euclid Street, Swindon, SN1 2JH

Attachments

SW4380177.pdf Download

Swindon Borough Council

Civic Offices , Euclid Street , Swindon , Wiltshire , SN1 2JH

http://www.swindon.gov.uk/ 01793 445 500

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