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Isles ready for their own count as ballot papers are stranded

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 11, 2012

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Local votes for the new police and crime commissioner are to be counted on the Isles of Scilly because of a combination of low spring tides and the closure of the helicopter service.

Polling day on November 15 coincides with some of the lowest tides of the year, posing logistical problems in collecting ballot boxes from each of the five inhabited islands and returning them to the mainland.

Any chance of flying them back to Cornwall was scuppered when British International Helicopters said it would end its service from the end of this month.

Instead, ballot boxes from Tresco, St Martin's, Bryher and St Agnes will be collected and counted at the town hall on St Mary's. There are about 1,700 voters on the islands.

"Due to one of the lowest spring tides on polling day and the closure of British International Helicopters from the end of October we are unable to transfer the ballot papers from the islands to the mainland to be included in the main count centre," a briefing paper on the election explains.

"We will, therefore, be sending two fully-trained senior officers to work with the Isles of Scilly staff to ensure consistency and to mirror the process at the main centre."

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