Call for more people to vote after turn-out of 17 per cent in Havant ward

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MORE people should vote. That was the verdict after a disappointing turnout in many of the wards for Havant borough.

In Warren Park the turn-out was just 17 per cent.

Mark Coates, who stood for Labour for Hayling East and lost to the Conservatives, said: ‘I just desperately wish more people would vote.

‘If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.’

And he added: ‘I wish people would vote more for local personalities than local parties.

‘Maybe we need to bring back the hustings so the public can find out who’s who and what they stand for.’

Councillor David Guest, who retained his St Faith’s ward for the Tories, said more people needed to attend council meetings ‘to see how local government works’.

Tory deputy leader Tony Briggs said local elections are important.

He added: ‘This is democracy in action.

‘It’s an opportunity for the voting public to select their representatives.’

The Tories maintained their stronghold and Cllr Elaine Shimbart, who retained Hart Plain, said the council tax freeze for the 
past seven years was a big reason.

Cllr Shimbart said: ‘Hart Plain was nearly all Lib Dem and then 10 years ago everything turned around.

‘I think the Conservatives are doing a good job.

‘We certainly don’t have too many complaints from residents.’

Council leader Mike Cheshire said the big issues that had been raised by residents in this election campaign included speeding, dog fouling and traffic congestion.