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Rush to find alternative polling stations means people will vote in pubs

PUBLISHED: 09:36 19 November 2019 | UPDATED: 10:55 19 November 2019

Landlord Mark Fryer at The Millwrights Arms pub in Toftwood, which will be a polling station at December's general election. Picture: Archant

Landlord Mark Fryer at The Millwrights Arms pub in Toftwood, which will be a polling station at December's general election. Picture: Archant

Archant

Pubs are among alternative venues which are having to be pushed into action as polling stations, due to next month's snap general election.

More than 20 venues which Norfolk's councils normally use for people to mark their ballot were not available for the first December election since 1923.

So councils have had to move fast to organise alternative polling stations for those venues which are not available on Thursday, December 12.

Eight venues have been switched in Breckland, including two where pubs will be used - the White Horse in Kenninghall and the Millwrights Arms in Toftwood.

In Great Yarmouth, with the election happening just two days before the start of the Beauty and the Beast pantomime at St George's Theatre, the theatre's cafe will be used, rather than the theatre itself.

In South Norfolk, five venues have been switched, including because of a Christmas play.

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Voters who usually go to Aslacton Primary School to vote will instead need to head to Great Moulton Coronation Hall, as the election clashes with two performances of the school's Christmas play at 2pm and 6pm.

Two venues have changed in Broadland. Voters in Blofield will vote at Margaret Harker Hall rather than the Courthouse, while in Rackheath, the village hall will be a venue, rather than Holy Trinity Church.

A spokesman for Broadland and South Norfolk councils said: "We have 175 designated polling stations that we go to as our first choice when an election is called.

"People have done all they can to make sure that any disruption is kept to a minimum and we would like to thank everyone for their help and understanding."

In North Norfolk, five of the 120 polling stations have had to be switched. It includes a change in Tunstead, where the primary school will not be used, with voters instead going to the Horse and Groom pub.

Blakeney voters will use the scout hut, rather than the village hall, while Holt Community Centre will make way for Holt Parish Church Hall.

Of nearly 100 polling stations in West Norfolk, just three have had to be switched because of the snap election, although two others have permanently changed.

None in Norwich have had to be moved.

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