Cotswolds teacher marks 50 years of overseeing voting

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First published in News

POLLING booths will be open across the county this week for the European Parliament elections and it will be a special anniversary for one Cotswold woman.

Pat Hemming will oversee voting at Temple Guiting on Thursday marking her 50th anniversary as a polling clerk.

Pat worked as a local government officer before becoming a teacher and currently teaches speech and drama at St Edward’s School in Charlton Kings.

“Things may have changed quite a bit over the years but I believe it’s still important to use your vote, and I continue to get lot of satisfaction from being able to contribute to the democratic process," she said.

"Perhaps my most memorable moment was many years ago when I was at a polling station in the village of Snowshill - the place certainly lived up to its name because there was a localised snowstorm which caused drifts of up to four feet.

"The roads were completely obliterated around the area and I had visions of being stuck there for the night. However, a kind policeman led me back to safety and I was able to return the ballot box in time for the count.

"My snow-covered vehicle looked rather odd because there was no wintry weather in sight anywhere when I got to my destination.”

Sarah Dalby, electoral service manager at CDC, said: “We rely on Pat and many other Presiding Officers and Poll Clerks to help us at elections, and we are very grateful to her for the service she has provided over the last 50 years. It’s great to hear that she still enjoys the task and we look forward to working with her for many years to come.”

There will be 111 polling stations open around the district on Thursday, May 22, from 7am until 10pm.

Voters do not need to take their poll card in order to vote, but if they do it will speed up the process.

CDC sent out around 12,500 postal votes for the European Parliamentary Election at the beginning of May and is reminding recipients that they must be returned by 10 pm on Thursday 22 May to be included in the count.

A full list of candidates is available at wiltsglosstandard.co.uk and for details of polling stations go to www.cotswold.gov.uk/about-the-council/elections/current-future-elections/

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