Chichester voters put in wrong ward for council election

Chichester District Council elections are due to take place on Thursday May 2
Chichester District Council elections are due to take place on Thursday May 2

More than a hundred Chichester voters were put in the wrong ward for next week’s elections due to a council error.

A total of 147 properties were originally listed as being in Chichester South but they have now been told they are in the newly-created ward of Chichester Central.

The roads affected were Peter Weston Place, Laburnum Grove, Eastgate Mews and parts of Cawley Road, Velyn Avenue, Market Avenue and The Hornet.

Chichester District Council said it was ‘very sorry for the error’ and has since sent out both new poll cards to affected voters and an updated register to all the local political parties.

At next week’s council election on Thursday May 2 all 36 seats are up for grabs, down from the current 48, meaning a number of boundaries have had to be redrawn.

Sarah Sharp, one of the Green candidates for Chichester South, described being ‘upset’ at the mistake as she and her volunteers had spent time canvassing properties that were incorrectly listed as being in the ward she is standing in.

A spokesman for Chichester Labour said: “There has been a lot of avoidable confusion over the new boundaries, and this incident does not instil faith and confidence in the process.

“But we are glad Chichester District Council have taken swift action but why this happened in the first place is a question that we need answers to, not least to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again.”

Jane Scotland, agent for the Chichester Liberal Democrats, said: “The boundary changes have been a challenge for us all. Chichester District Council should be commended for effectively managing the complex updates to the electoral roll. This won’t be a significant problem for us. The error has been picked up and fixed well before polling day on 2 May.”

Both Conservative candidates in Chichester South were approached for comment but have not yet responded.

A spokesman for Chichester District Council said: “We are very sorry for the error regarding the household information sent to candidates. As soon as we became aware of the issue, we immediately contacted all those affected.

“On Monday [April 15] we provided an updated register to all the local political party headquarters, sent letters out to the affected electors as well as issuing new poll cards to them. Only this part of the city was affected, with a total of 147 properties across the following roads: Peter Weston Place, Laburnum Grove, Eastgate Mews and parts of Cawley Road, Velyn Avenue, Market Avenue and The Hornet.”