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Time to vote, says mayor

PUBLISHED: 15:16 27 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:43 03 July 2010

PEOPLE are being urged to make their vote count in the forthcoming local elections.

Voters will go to the polls in May for borough and parish council elections and this week the borough's mayor Paul Garrod put party politics aside and appealed to residents to make their voices heard, no matter which party they voted for.

PEOPLE are being urged to make their vote count in the forthcoming local elections.

Voters will go to the polls in May for borough and parish council elections and this week the borough's mayor Paul Garrod put party politics aside and appealed to residents to make their voices heard, no matter which party they voted for.

Mr Garrod said: “Local elections are important because local politics affects the way we life our lives. The local council looks after lots of things from street cleaning, rubbish collection and benefits to the environment and tourism.

“Get out there and vote,” he said.

“There is nothing worse than people moaning about local issues when they don't vote.”

Last year's borough council elections saw an average turnout of 23.6pc, a significant drop from 2006 of 31pc.

Mr Garrod said he believed the reason for fewer people voting in local elections was due to people being “happy” with the way the town is being run.

He said: “The problem is people have become complacent and with projects like the outer harbour underway and with regeneration work at St George's Park almost completed the feelgood factor in the town is at an all time high.

“If people are happy with the way things are going that's no reason not to vote because we all know things can easily change,” said the Conservative councillor for North Yarmouth ward.

Mr Garrod, who recently chaired a political debate at the town hall with local politics students, added he wanted to see more young people vote in local elections.

In his role as mayor for the past year, Mr Garrod said he had learned a lot about the town and had been fortunate to witness several key events such as the start of work on the outer harbour and the January visit by soldiers from the Royal Anglian Regiment.

He also said the town would “grind to a halt” without the hundreds of volunteers that work in the borough.

Borough and parish council elections are being held on May 1. Nominations close on Friday next week.

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