West Norfolk Council seeks election staff

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While politicians are currently canvassing for votes in May’s elections, council officials have urged residents to get in touch if they want to help run the polls.

Volunteers are needed both to staff polling stations across West Norfolk on May 7 and help with the counts, which will take place at Lynnsport.

Mary Colangelo, West Norfolk Council’s electoral services manager, said: “These are without a doubt the biggest elections we have ever run.

“We are responsible for two parliamentary constituencies, 42 borough council wards with 62 councillors, plus 101 parish councils.

“We are looking for people who can help us in several roles. All training will be provided and people can earn a bit of extra money.”

Roles to be filled include those of presiding officers and poll clerks, who are responsible for ensuring voting is carried out properly in individual polling stations, and count assistants who will tally the votes once the ballot boxes reach the counting centre.

The authority has also launched a guide for would-be election candidates ahead of the start of nominations for the council polls next month.

Nominations open on March 16 and Mrs Colangelo said: “Councillors play a key role in the borough. They are there to represent the people that elected them and provide a voice for their community. They help to shape the delivery of services for the benefit of local people.

“It can be a very rewarding role and we want to encourage people who want to make a difference in their area to think about standing.”

“You don’t need any specific qualifications, nor do you have to belong to a political party, but you must be at least 18 years old on the day of nomination, must have lived or worked in the borough for at least the last 12 months and must be a British subject, an Irish or European Union citizen living in the UK, or a qualifying Commonwealth citizen.”

More details of how to get involved as a candidate or as a member of election staff can be found online at www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/elections.