Barnsley Council chief executive issues apology after “failing to count a box of postal votes” during election

The chief executive of Barnsley Council has apologised and says there are “lessons to be learned” after a box of postal votes were failed to be counted during last week’s election count.

Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 10:21 am
Updated Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 5:46 pm

One box of postal votes for the Royston ward were not included in the overnight count on Thursday.

The uncounted votes did not change the outcome of the election for the ward – Labour held the ward with Councillor Dave Webster winning the seat.

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One box of postal votes for the Royston ward was not counted during the overnight count at the Metrodome on Thursday.

Sarah Norman, Barnsley Council chief executive and returning officer for the Barnsley Council local government elections 2022, said: “At the Barnsley Council local government elections count on 5 May 2022, we failed to count a box of postal votes for the Royston Ward.

“The postal votes have now been counted, and the figures have been recalculated.

“The result has not changed. Dave Webster from the Labour Party is elected for the Royston Ward.

“This discrepancy in the number of votes and the declaration of incorrect figures is not acceptable.

“We’re very sorry that this has happened.

“We invited the candidates and their agents to the Metrodome….to explain the situation and express our sincere apologies for any distress that this has caused.

“We’re making all paperwork and data available to the Electoral Commission and to candidates and agents to inspect. There are clear lessons to be learnt from this, and we’ll make sure we implement these in future election counts.”

The final figures for the Royston Ward:

Total number of ballot papers received: 2,062

Neil Fisher, Independent: 458 (difference 212) Jonathan Paul Hood, Liberal Democrats: 132 (difference 79) Macaulay Larkin, The Conservative Party: 363 (difference 196) Dave Webster, Labour Party: 1,085 (difference 551)