Lincolnshire

Councils prepare for European elections amid Brexit delays

Councils across Greater Lincolnshire have started preparations for European Union elections on May 23.

Government officials have advised local authorities to get ready for the EU MEPs vote as Prime Minister Theresa May is due to ask the EU for a further extension to Article 50 – the process by which the UK leaves the EU – but leaders have said if the UK is still a member on the May date, it will have to take part.

City of Lincoln Council, North Kesteven District Council, South Holland District Council, South Kesteven District Council, Boston Borough Council, East Lindsey District Council, West Lindsey District and North East Lincolnshire have all confirmed they are following the national guidance.

They include ensuring staff are available for the date in question, booking polling stations and count venues, and getting documents printed.

Ian Fytche, Local Returning Officer for North Kesteven District Council, said: “Preparations for a possible European Parliamentary election are well advanced within North Kesteven, with around 95% of the required polling stations provisionally booked.

“Further exploratory talks are taking place to ensure the required staffing arrangements are in place and engagement is underway with key suppliers for printing, logistics and such like.

“Such preparedness is a responsible approach so that elections teams can react quickly and decisively, should the election be confirmed.

As it stands, notice of the election is set to be published on April 15 with final nominations to be published on April 25.

Of those who provided figures, Boston Borough Council had the most electorate from other EU countries registered with 7,275. East Lindsey had the least with 991. Lincoln has 3,390 EU citizens registered.

North East Lincolnshire has 2,454 EU citizens registered to vote in the UK.