Candidates concern at lack of Llandudno by-election polling cards

Reporter:

Allan George

Brian Bertola has been elected as a councillor for Tudno ward on Llandudno Town Council in a by election following the death of former mayor, Cllr Billy Evans.

However Llandudno town council has been criticised for not sending out polling cards to electors for the by election.

Assembly member, Janet Finch-Saunders, said: “A number of constituents have approached me, about their concerns that no polling cards were issued for this by-election, particularly as we are in the first municipal year of a five year term.

“Engagement in the democratic process at all levels is so important to the continuing healthy functioning of our proud democracy – and Llandudno Town Council is so active within the town and community in this way.”

A spokesman for the Green Party, whose candidate Rod Armstrong came last in the election, stated: “By far the biggest disappointment was the low turnout, perhaps exacerbated by the town council’s refusal to send out polling cards.”

A spokesperson for Llandudno Town Council said: “The town council has previously not sent out polling cards for by elections.

“A by election of the scale of the Tudno ward would cost in the region of £4,500 and the cost of printing and posting polling cards would be an extra £1,500.

“Although there is no requirement for polling cards for by elections, members were nevertheless consulted on their views on polling cards, and those who responded were unanimous that the cost was prohibitive.

“However notice of the by election was put on Conwy Borough and the town council’s web sites, and posted on notice boards and in the press.

“Any comments will be reported to the full council.”

Cllr Bertola was the Conservative Party candidate and won by 254 votes against 214 votes for Carolyn Hodrien, the Labour Party candidate and 54 votes for Roderick John Armstrong of the Green Party.

Cllr Bertola, who had served on the town council for 41 years before losing his seat earlier this year, said: “I am very happy to be selected again.

“One of the things I feel passionate about is that we are letting down our young people because of the lack of inward investment into Llandudno to create jobs for them.

“Hence our bright young people have to leave North Wales to find jobs.”

Cllr Bertola had worked as deputy headmaster at St Mary’s College, Rhos on Sea, and had previously served as a physical training instructor in the RAF. He is married with two sons and four grandsons.

He is a former captain of Llandudno Rugby Club, and served for many years as the club’s chairman and president.

Email:

allan.george@nwn.co.uk

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