Don’t lose your voice on election day


Voters are being urged to check the location of their local polling station – so they don't lose their voice at the local elections on Thursday, 2nd May.

Prior to casting their vote local residents can read the interviews I have published with 32 candidates (the other 7 did not respond to my request) standing for a seat on Wilmslow Town Council, Handforth Parish Council and Cheshire East Council to represent the Handforth or Wilmslow wards - they are all connected via the 2019 Local Elections tag at the bottom of each article.

Voters can check on their polling cards, which will identify which polling station they should visit to cast their ballot. Any residents affected by changes to polling stations have also been written to by the council, informing them of where they will be able to vote.

Cheshire East Council's acting chief executive Kath O'Dwyer, who is the Returning Officer for the local elections in the borough, said: "I would urge all voters to check the location of their local polling station before election day. It is worth bearing in mind that there are always a small number of our usual polling station venues unavailable due to refurbishment, repair works or unforeseen circumstances.

"It is really important for the vigour and health of our local democracy that people, who are eligible, exercise their right to vote and have their say.

"If you don't vote, you don't have a voice – so I would urge everyone, who is eligible, to take the time to vote and be heard."

On polling day, Thursday 2nd May, polling stations will be open between 7am and 10pm. Information about voting at this election is available at:



Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Kathryn Blackburn
Tuesday 30th April 2019 at 3:17 pm
Democracy and government ought to go hand in hand.
Nick Jones
Wednesday 1st May 2019 at 7:20 am
The ‘tax –punished’, long suffering residents and voters can only be disappointed, disillusioned and a tad miffed, that hollow promises (some going back nearly 8 years ) have been ignored in favour of party politics. I speak (along with many friends and neighbours) as long suffering fully paid up victim’s of this avarice and duplicitous conduct.Residents, more specifically Tory supporting residents, fear further unchecked, unaccountable CEC fiscal frivolity behaving with the vanity of Croesus, conveniently failing to address their own evidenced abysmal track record. CEC should have been put in special measures. How can we ignore ; Lyme Green – No planning permission debacle, Co-Socious IT ‘non’-solution, ‘Flawed CEC Local Plan’, ‘Corefit’ Physio-gate Michael Jones (leader), Deliberate and systematic’ failures re; Pollution data’ EIGHT ongoing Law enforcement investigations, Hoodwinking the electorate ‘Adlington -Never build on these fields- Road’, Royal London site and others removed from green belt for profit, ignoring ‘Exceptional circumstance’ National guidance and Brownfield development, Year on Year maximum Council Tax increase for no additional benefit ,Year on Year increase of the policing precept to satiate unaccountable PCC empire building at Stockton Heath, never held to account for his photo opportunity on Alderley Road, Employing Spin Doctors + Bullying Consultants (Bullying being reported on Michael Jones and Rachel Bailey’s watch ) Calling for parking ‘consultation’, but then making public CEC decision to increase costs before commenced. Yellow line fever – when not needed, Failing to use Yellow lines (Alderley Road) when needed! Abysmal Road surfaces, Creating ‘Executive Directors’ roles followed by large severance payments. Auditors refusing to sign off the CEC accounts (3 years), Failing to address discipline matters effectively, Employing senior staff who were unsuitable and not competent, Maintaining a wall of silence with no explanation for their action. I could go on.
Young conservatives with fresh ideas have been ignored in favour of stagnant piers, denied opportunity, So it’s just more of the same for another 4 years, Obfuscation and Bluster. Just how much have these councillors pocketed form our taxes for such poor service and non-attendance? The way they have treated The Wilmslow community, businesses, and its residents is contemptable. THE ELECTORATE ARE NOT STUPID, but Enough is enough ! they are not the lemmings that follow CEC lead because the cabinet system dictates. The electorate have seen the recent significant value independent councillors have made challenging CEC poor practice and securing funds for the community otherwise lost in the CEC ether.
Irrespective of General election Party colours, This local election is about improving our community and improving CEC efficiency for the betterment of residents. Make your vote count … Vote Residents of Wilmslow tomorrow !
Marc Staples
Wednesday 1st May 2019 at 7:38 am
I love the fact that 7 couldn't even be bothered to respond !!
Terry Roeves
Wednesday 1st May 2019 at 8:58 am
As Chris Patten said in a recent interview, Conservatives are a dying breed, predominately the older generation who read the Daily Telegraph, where their views are formed. Out of touch with geopolitics and international trade.
Laugh at our past and celebrate the way we were. But we should weep for our future.
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 1st May 2019 at 9:44 am
The "Promotional Feature" entitled a Vision for Wilmslow demonstrates just how desperate the Conservative candidates are (it is not possible for the electorate to make comments on this but... you can on the Facebook page) :

You know their track record; vote for them and it will not change: they'll hide away and not answer any questions you put to them. Then, in four years time they'll pop up again come asking for your vote.

Even I have been surprised by some of the mendacious claims they have made; I think the word to describe them is reprehensible.

Vote tomorrow for people before party- Vote Residents of Wilmslow.
Roger Bagguley
Wednesday 1st May 2019 at 11:44 am
All over tomorrow. I sincerely hope we do not end up with more of the same. There is nothing new in what is on offer from the Conservative candidates - on most points promises made under pressure from RoW. If we are ever to achieve clarity on how Cheshire East Council works, if we are ever going to speed up action on the things Wilmslow people want then we must have change.

At RoW and through Councillor Toni Fox, Dean Row we have been able to witness
at first hand how party politics works. Without doubt it often ignores the wishes of the people. Thus, it is time for change. Time to vote for RoW. Time to challenge. Time to have councillors who will listen and act on collective and individual concerns
Alan Brough
Wednesday 1st May 2019 at 2:58 pm
In the "Promotional Feature" that Pete Taylor refers to, the final paragraph has particular prescience and suggests that they know what's waiting around the corner.

In it they say "If the Conservatives lose control of Cheshire East Council....."

I'm sure that even they can see that, for the shameful litany of reasons that Nick Jones lays out so splendidly above, they HAVE lost control, the game's up, time to go, don't slam the door on your way out!
Martin Theobald
Wednesday 1st May 2019 at 5:11 pm
How comes Mrs McNulty (or is it Menlove) gets a mention in the "Promotional Feature"? Surly there must others in the local Conservative group who are working for a our benefit but are neither existing or would be councillors.

Re: Wilmslow Conservatives are backing the introduction of year-round green bin collections and optional food waste recycling.

Why do they need to back this? From what I can make out it is a done deal with a 15 year contract in place and planning permission granted. Do they know something that has not been shared with the electorate?
Maria Quin
Wednesday 1st May 2019 at 5:48 pm
Agree 100% with all of the above and find it incredible that this shower of bandits who operate under the auspicious protective umbrella that is CEC - have managed to abuse our trust and mushroom manage us Wilmslow folk for sooooo long! Enough is enough! Time for change is NOW and I’m praying enough of their victims will take action, use their vote and give someone else a chance - preferably R o W who have already shown and proved their decent policies and determination to improve our lifestyles. They can’t possibly be any worse - can they? If not - maybe emigration is feeling attractive!
Sally Hoare
Thursday 2nd May 2019 at 6:07 am
Quite right Martin Theobald. I am a waste reduction volunteer with Ansa and this is a business decision made by them to include food waste in the green waste. Therefor it has to be a year round operation.
Oliver Romain
Thursday 2nd May 2019 at 8:02 am
In Wilmslow vote for candidates who live in your ward. Of the two ROW candidates in Wilmslow West one lives in a different area and the other refused to reveal his address. No address on the ballot = no vote for the candidate.
The Lib Dem candidates ALL live in the wards they are standing for and will work hard for you as a team, stand up to the Tories locally and oppose the Brexit nationally.
Vote Lib Dem and Stop Brexit.
Rod Menlove
Thursday 2nd May 2019 at 10:26 am
My recollection is that Oliver Romain previously stood in a ward in which he did not live on at least one occasion as did Birgitta Hoffman. Double standards?
Alan Brough
Thursday 2nd May 2019 at 11:01 am
@Rod Menlove,

Yes, we can take some reassurance that the Conservative Councillor who was pictured on local social media sleeping in a council meeting was, and always has been, resident in the ward that he representzzzzzzz.
Oliver Romain
Thursday 2nd May 2019 at 11:50 am
Rod: Are you saying its wrong for a candidate to stand in a ward where they don't live? Coming from the Tories its a bit rich.

2019 Wilmslow West Borough Ward Candidate Residential Status.

Candidates resident in Wilmslow West Borough Ward

Birgitte Hoffmann
Oliver Romain
Gary Barton

Undisclosed address:
Ian MacFarlane

Remaining candidates live outside the ward. Looks like the Tories only candidate who lives in Wilmslow West is also their greatest liability. Gary Barton with his 49% attendance record is the living embodiment of how the Tories fail Wilmslow. ROW aren't fielding any candidates who live in Wilmslow West (or are prepared to let the public know where they live).

Vote for genuine residents of Wilmslow West - Hoffmann and Romain.
Rod Menlove
Thursday 2nd May 2019 at 12:23 pm
No it's not wrong. But by saying 'vote for candidates who live in your ward' you are implying that it is.
Oliver Romain
Thursday 2nd May 2019 at 1:49 pm
Rod: I never said it is wrong. On a more serious note, have an impressive 92% attendance record. How does it feel when Gary (49%) Barton waltzes through selection with his attendance record? Surely there are other more worthy potential candidates within your membership? Is family connection within the Tory party more important than work ethic?
Alan Brough
Thursday 2nd May 2019 at 2:20 pm

It's hard to keep up.

In your 0902 post this morning, you urge voters only to vote for candidates who are resident in the ward. You helpfully point out that you, Birgitta and "Snoozy" Gary are the only candidates resident in your ward. Of the others, you know that some live outside the ward but you are not sure about one. Finally you say that there is nothing wrong with living outside the ward.

Might I suggest a simple solution? By voting for a candidate standing as a "Resident of Wilmslow" you have a pretty good idea that they'll do what it says on the tin and put the interests of local people first.

No need to thank me!
Mark Goldsmith
Thursday 2nd May 2019 at 3:05 pm
Just to clarify where the RoW candidates live.

I am in the process of selling my house in north Wilmslow and moving to Alma Lane, which is on the ward. Iain, the other RoW candidate lives just off Alderley Road, a stone's throw away from the ward.

So, now there is no reason to vote for the Lib Dem candidates, who state their only point of difference is that they live on the ward.

However, RoW is the only party with a track record of consistently speaking up for our residents and is the only group with any chance of beating the Conservatives in Wilmslow.

So vote for RoW today and change local politics for good.
Oliver Romain
Thursday 2nd May 2019 at 3:39 pm
Mark: thanks for giving a vague idea of where your running partner lives. Why did your running partner hide his address from voters? Doesn’t sound like a new type of politics to me.
To be clear, I have not said at any point there is anything wrong with candidates standing for election in a ward they don’t live in.
I personally believe that people are better represented by candidates who live in their ward. I don’t think readers need an explanation why, as it’s fairly obvious. It’s just one of many factors such as attendance record, work ethic, openness and so on.
Mark Goldsmith is lucky to own four properties in the area so can pick and choose where he lives. Not sure if he is a landlord or developer or inherited the property. It’s not something he talks about in his blurb.
Property investors sometimes flip homes to reduce their capital gains tax. Property developers do have a vested interest in the areas they invest in but it’s not always the same as residents’ interest.
Alan: ROWs ‘tin’ does not disclose that Mark is a property investor nor does it disclose where his running mate lives.
Vote Lib Dem today for integrity, openness and to send a message to the Tories locally and nationally.
Roger Bagguley
Thursday 2nd May 2019 at 4:18 pm
Oliver: Time to shut up and prepare to meet your own high standards should you be successful today.

I will tell you l have lived in Wilmslow for 52 years and my work within the town over this time, and in particular for RoW and WNP, has resulted in me knowing a very great deal about what people like and dislike about living in Wilmslow.

Having witnessed you thrashing about on this platform over the last few weeks our snoozing Conservative, Wilmslow West resident looks a safer bet than you as a Liberal Democrat. Did you ever stop to think about telling us what you will bring to the town whilst challenging others.

Experience counts rather more than residence.

Tomorrow is the time to rejoice, or find somewhere to hide.

Not seen you out and about today but might see you later. Actually not seen you about at all during the campaign.

Alan Brough
Thursday 2nd May 2019 at 4:31 pm
Hi Oliver,

I'm not sure about the accuracy of your information - neither are you, but I wouldn't mind owning four properties in Wilmslow. Can't be many more astute investments given the current economic malaise.

If Mark Goldsmith has managed his affairs so well, perhaps he's exactly the right chap to work his way through the fog at Cheshire East.

Thanks for the steer, I'm off to vote!
Deleted Account
Thursday 2nd May 2019 at 4:31 pm

You're obviously a man of principles and I'm sure you are well intended but this is becoming all a bit sort of 'odd'.

I don't think you are doing yourself and the party any favours ?

Please stop.
Oliver Romain
Thursday 2nd May 2019 at 5:02 pm
Roger: telling residents to ‘shut up’ because what they say doesn’t fit your ROW message is a little desperate.

Alan: My Information is from the public domain it’s in Mr Goldsmith’s declaration of interests on WTC website. It was Mr Goldsmith who first informed us about one of his ‘other’ properties.

Martin: I am sorry you think it’s ‘odd’ to stand up to the lazy Tories or secretive ROW candidates. I am sure you care about the area as much as I do but closing down debate is not good for Wilmslow.

If you stand for public office nothing should be off limits. If the candidates and their online helpers are rattled and only response is to beg me to stop, it demonstrates I am doing my job.
Everybody standing for election should be open to scrutiny.
Deleted Account
Thursday 2nd May 2019 at 7:26 pm
Evening Oliver,

I'm sorry it's not the standing up to Tories that's odd (far from it!) It's your tone that comes over a bit sort of obsessive.

I'm not alone in thinking that you see.
Oliver Romain
Thursday 2nd May 2019 at 7:58 pm
Martin: ROW can’t make up their minds. If I am pulling up the Tories it’s fine and you agree with me. Happy to go along for a free ride. Let someone else expose them. Then as soon as ROW candidates come under scrutiny you are all fed up and annoyed.
People in this town are not stupid. Many more people read this website than comment. They see how the ROW team team up against any form of dissent.
ROW are allegedly a party willing to hold the Tories to account. You should also accept that ROW will also be held to account.
One of your officials said a few days ago that the Lib Dem’s are ‘fluffy’. The people of Wilmslow know that when it comes to standing up against bullies, we are a formidable team.
Pete Taylor
Thursday 2nd May 2019 at 9:12 pm
Oliver, RoW are not a "party" they are just residents. As far as I can see one cannot "join" them but one can vote for them.
You refer to "bullies"; any specific examples, which I may have missed?
Dave Cash
Friday 3rd May 2019 at 2:18 am
The die is now, but the Electotorare could change their decision in next 4 years..
Martin Theobald
Friday 3rd May 2019 at 7:24 am
Interesting to see that the CEC Results dashboard does not show all of the groups/parties up for election only:

UK Independence Party (UKIP)
Conservative Party
Liberal Democrats
Green Party
Labour Party

It's surprising the count will not start until 13:00 hrs on Fri 03-May-2019. My be this is a cost saving measure - no having as meany counters and no overnight count.

Any idea when the WTC counts will take place?
Oliver Romain
Friday 3rd May 2019 at 7:51 am
WTC is Saturday! If they started today at 10am they could have done both today. I suspect it costs more to do it this way.
Roger Bagguley
Friday 3rd May 2019 at 8:06 am
Martin: WTC count tomorrow.