Labour reject scheme to stop Pendle postal fraud

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: STEPHEN BARNES (Left) STEPHEN BARNES (Left)

A ROW has broken out after Labour refused to sign a cross-party agreement aimed at stamping out postal vote fraud in Pendle.

The agreement was drawn up by Pendle Council chief executive Stephen Barnes and lists a number of guidelines for the parties to follow.

At a meeting of the parties’ election agents, the Conservatives, Lib Dems, BNP and UKIP all signed up to the agreement, but it was rejected by Labour who said it carried no enforcement power.

The council set up a panel to look at postal vote fraud in 2012 after Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson claimed the practice was ‘widespread’. Paul White, the agent for Pendle Conservatives, said: “We’ve long said that we think there are issues with postal ballots being collected in parts of Pendle by the Labour Party.

“We have some wards with over 1,200 people on postal ballots. We’re a westernised country, and this sort of rigging shouldn’t be happening here.

“Their agents sat there and said this sort of thing doesn’t go on in their party. If it doesn’t go on, why wouldn’t they agree it?”

Tony Greaves, Lib Dem agent, said: “Everyone involved in local politics knows that postal rigging goes on every year in some parts of Pendle, and that there has been a problem for the past 12 years.

“It is only common sense for the parties in Pendle to agree not to carry out this dubious activity this year in order to help clean up the elections here.”

At the meeting, Mr Barnes asked the parties to agree to the statement, which included giving assurances that they would not go round collecting postal votes from electors.

But Labour said that every sentence in the statement started with ‘I urge’, and it did not provide any power to the council or police.

Robert Oliver, Labour agent for Nelson, said: “We attended the meeting and were honest with our comments and constructive.

“We were not seeking a cheap publicity stunt, unlike the Tory party.

“The chief executive accepted that the one-sided piece of paper he has drafted has no legal powers.”

Comments (9)

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2:38pm Fri 2 May 14

A Darener says...

Hardly surprising labour would reject the idea. Without wanting to stereotype I would not be surprised if Labour gained more from postal fraud than the other partys. Please feel free to disprove my hypothesis.
Hardly surprising labour would reject the idea. Without wanting to stereotype I would not be surprised if Labour gained more from postal fraud than the other partys. Please feel free to disprove my hypothesis. A Darener
  • Score: 25

3:09pm Fri 2 May 14

ROBERTSLUMDWELLER123 says...

that's my vote Labour just lost!!
that's my vote Labour just lost!! ROBERTSLUMDWELLER123
  • Score: 17

9:17pm Fri 2 May 14

ConcernedOssy says...

Spineless Prats they've probably posted theirs already to give themselves a better start. they should've saved the postage and start getting used to the idea they're finished
Spineless Prats they've probably posted theirs already to give themselves a better start. they should've saved the postage and start getting used to the idea they're finished ConcernedOssy
  • Score: 10

11:31pm Fri 2 May 14

retsofad says...

Well Well Well now the residents in Pendle all know who does the vote rigging, but of coarse many have know for more years than enough who the culprits are.
Perhaps the police could re-open old cases the information is all there to be processed.
I wonder how many sitting Councillors would have sleepless nights if they did?
As Slumdweller123 says Thats my vote Labour just lost mine too hope the rest of Pendle follow suit and get rid of fraudsters
Well Well Well now the residents in Pendle all know who does the vote rigging, but of coarse many have know for more years than enough who the culprits are. Perhaps the police could re-open old cases the information is all there to be processed. I wonder how many sitting Councillors would have sleepless nights if they did? As Slumdweller123 says Thats my vote Labour just lost mine too hope the rest of Pendle follow suit and get rid of fraudsters retsofad
  • Score: 11

7:26am Sat 3 May 14

coates warder says...

well when you get 27 people in a 2 bed house all voting labour no wonder they wont sign it. nelson home of the rigged vote. every year this happens
well when you get 27 people in a 2 bed house all voting labour no wonder they wont sign it. nelson home of the rigged vote. every year this happens coates warder
  • Score: 11

11:12pm Sat 3 May 14

retsofad says...

coates warder wrote:
well when you get 27 people in a 2 bed house all voting labour no wonder they wont sign it. nelson home of the rigged vote. every year this happens
How about 82 votes for Pendle in another town all at 1 address
[quote][p][bold]coates warder[/bold] wrote: well when you get 27 people in a 2 bed house all voting labour no wonder they wont sign it. nelson home of the rigged vote. every year this happens[/p][/quote]How about 82 votes for Pendle in another town all at 1 address retsofad
  • Score: 4

5:23pm Sun 4 May 14

fedup with your lies says...

retsofad wrote:
coates warder wrote:
well when you get 27 people in a 2 bed house all voting labour no wonder they wont sign it. nelson home of the rigged vote. every year this happens
How about 82 votes for Pendle in another town all at 1 address
How can that be, enlighten us which area of Nelson .
[quote][p][bold]retsofad[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]coates warder[/bold] wrote: well when you get 27 people in a 2 bed house all voting labour no wonder they wont sign it. nelson home of the rigged vote. every year this happens[/p][/quote]How about 82 votes for Pendle in another town all at 1 address[/p][/quote]How can that be, enlighten us which area of Nelson . fedup with your lies
  • Score: 0

12:04am Mon 5 May 14

retsofad says...

People can have Postal voting papers sent to any address they wish. you don't have to have them sent to your own address. if a person is away they can request their postal voting papers to where they are staying.
also Proxy votes when a person nominates another person to vote on their behalf the person going to the polling station can vote for who they like. another legal loop hole that needs to be plugged
People can have Postal voting papers sent to any address they wish. you don't have to have them sent to your own address. if a person is away they can request their postal voting papers to where they are staying. also Proxy votes when a person nominates another person to vote on their behalf the person going to the polling station can vote for who they like. another legal loop hole that needs to be plugged retsofad
  • Score: 0

3:35pm Mon 5 May 14

justaworkinlad says...

Ban all postal votes. I know some people will loose their vote but that will have far less impact on results than permitting this well know about fiasco to continue.
Ban all postal votes. I know some people will loose their vote but that will have far less impact on results than permitting this well know about fiasco to continue. justaworkinlad
  • Score: 3

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