Know how many votes you have in local election

Last Updated: 20 April 2022

20 April 2022 

Voters in the forthcoming local elections are being reminded that in many of the wards for the new Westmorland and Furness Council they will be able to vote for more than one candidate on the ballot paper.

In 24 of the 33 new Westmorland and Furness wards voters will be able to vote for either two or three candidates in the election on Thursday, 5 May.

The number of ‘seats’ in each ward has been determined by calculating the ratio of voters in the ward against the 65 councillors who will make up the new council. This means that wards with more voters will have seats for two or three councillors to represent them.

The new warding arrangements and numbers of councillors in each ward have been drawn up against Local Government Boundary Commission guidance and have been approved by Government.

The ballot paper voters will receive either at the polling station on 5 May, or in the post if they have applied for a postal vote, will have instructions indicating the number of candidates they can vote for (for example, stating ‘Vote for no more than 3 candidates’ if it is a ward with three seats).

Voters are therefore encouraged to read their ballot paper carefully before casting their vote/s to ensure they can vote for the number of candidates they are entitled.

Voters in multi-seat wards do not have to use all the votes they are entitled to if they don’t wish to vote for more than one candidate, and voters in multi-seat wards can choose to use their two or three votes to vote for candidates from different political parties or groups.

The Poll Card that voters will already have received in the post clearly indicates which ward they are in. The following is a list of all 33 Westmorland and Furness Council wards, with the numbers of seats in each ward in brackets:

Barrow area wards

Dalton North (2)

Dalton South (2)

Hawcoat and Newbarns (3)

Old Barrow and Hindpool (3)

Ormsgill and Parkside (3)

Risedale and Roosecote (3)

Walney Island (3).

Eden area wards

Alston and Fellside (2)

Appleby and Brough (2)

Eamont and Shap (1)

Eden and Lyvennet Vale (2)

Greystoke and Ullswater (1)

Hesket and Lazonby (2)

Kirkby Stephen and Tebay (2)

Penrith North (2)

Penrith South (2).

South Lakeland area wards

Bowness and Lyth  (1)

Burton and Holme (1)

Coniston and Hawkshead (1)

Grange and Cartmel (3)

High Furness (1)

Kendal Castle (2)

Kendal Highgate (2)

Kendal Nether (2)

Kendal South (2)

Kendal Strickland and Fell (2)

Kent Estuary (2)

Levens and Crooklands (1)

Low Furness (1)

Sedbergh and Kirkby Lonsdale (2)

Ulverston (3)

Upper Kent (1)

Windermere and Ambleside (3).

Candidates will still be elected on a ‘first past the post’ basis, meaning that in multi-seat wards the two or three candidates with the most votes will be the ones who are elected.

The 65 councillors on the new Westmorland and Furness Council will be elected for a five-year term of office, the first year on a Westmorland and Furness ‘Shadow Authority’ that will oversee the planning and preparation for the new unitary council, followed by four years on Westmorland and Furness Council, which will ‘go live’ in April 2023.

The existing Cumbria County Council, Barrow Borough Council, Eden District Council and South Lakeland District Council will continue to operate and deliver all current services until Vesting Day for the new authority on 1 April 2023.

On that date the Shadow Authority and its 65 councillors become the new Westmorland and Furness Council and it will take over responsibility for services. At that point the existing county council, borough and district councils will be dissolved.

For more information on Westmorland and Furness Council elections, including an interactive map showing the new wards and a list of who is standing for election, visit the Shadow Authority for Westmorland and Furness Council website at https://www.westmorlandandfurness.gov.uk

For more information on local government reorganisation in Cumbria go to: https://newcouncilsforcumbria.info/