Fall in voter numbers

Lord Greaves
Lord Greaves

There are 2,757 fewer voters on the voting lists in Pendle since the changes that the coalition government have made.

Liberal Democrats in Pendle have given a cautious welcome to the figures which they say will rise in the next three months.

But they also issued a warning that some areas are doing much worse than others.

Between January, 2014 and December the total number of electors on the registers went down by 2,757 to a Pendle total of 65,828.

This is a 4% drop on last year. The numbers for each ward, and for each area of Pendle, are set out below.

The area with the biggest drop is Nelson, with over a thousand fewer electors listed, followed by Colne with 753 and West Craven with 436.

The wards with the largest drops are Southfield (308) and Bradley (271), both in Nelson, followed by three Colne wards - Waterside (226), Horsfield (195) and Vivary Bridge (189).

In West Craven the biggest fall is at Earby (184), which has more voters than any other ward in the borough.

Three wards actually show a small rise – Blacko and Higherford (+23), Marsden (+16) and Higham and Pendleside, which has just two more people on the register.

Pendle Council Liberal Leader Councillor Tony Greaves said that the drop in numbers in Pendle is less than in many places, and with the moves planned to get more voters on the lists, there was likely to be an increase by the time of the General Election.

Pendle Council is writing to every household setting out who is on the lists and asking missing people to add their names.

Coun. Greaves said: “It’s so far so good. Individual registration is vital to help cut out fraud and stop the out-of-date system of a ‘head of household’ nominating people to go on the voting lists. But the changes caused worries that many people would be missed off.

“Some of the drops in numbers are due to the removal of people who were previously on more than once and this is a good thing. But it seems obvious from the numbers that more people are being missed off in more working class areas, and less in more middle class areas and this is a worry.”

He said the biggest drops seemed to be where there is most private rented housing, where there is more movement in and out. He also wanted to make sure that new young voters are all registered.

Coun. Greaves added that Liberal councillors would be mounting their own campaigns in their own wards to make sure that everyone who is entitled to be on the list is on – and people who are not entitled are not.

He said: “As a Waterside councillor I want to see Waterside top of the list, not third from the bottom!”