Eaton & Cringleford

Voters redirected after downpour floods polling station

Just Regional
Jun 24, 2016 2 mins read

Cringleford voters in the EU referendum on June 23 were subject to a change of venue after the Willow Centre was flooded following a downpour.

Water started to leak into the building at 7.30pm, resulting in the decison to move the polling station to the Patterson Club on Newmarket Road at about 8.30pm.

A South Norfolk Council spokesperson said: “The Willow Centre was closed at 8.30pm and paperwork and the ballot box were quickly transferred to the new venue, which was already being used as a polling station.

“A polling clerk was left at the Wilow Centre to divert voters to the Patterson Club, and the names of anyone who arrived close to the 10pm deadline were called through to the presiding officer, so that they were allowed to make their vote at the Patterson Club if they arrived after 10pm.

“No one failed to have their vote.”

Malcolm Wagstaff, chairman of Cringleford Parish Council said that the flooding was caused by water pouring off the large roof into gutters and drainpipes which couldn’t cope with the volume of the downpour.

“It was a tremendous downpour,” he said. “There was water coming in both the front and side doors, the caretaker said it was eight inches high near the front door at one point. Voters were taking off their shoes and socks and wading in to make their vote!”

There was also water running in off the playingfield. There is a soakaway but it was identified as being inadequate a few months ago following a downpour and developers were made aware by the parish council but failed to improve it.

At the time of going to print the Willow Centre is closed and regular hirers have been informed. It is unknown how long the centre will be shut until an insurance assessor comes to see the damage, but it is thought that it will be closed for some time.

“All the electricity has been turned off for safety as the centre has underfloor heating,” said Malcolm. “The sprung floor is beginning to lift and crinkle so it’s likely it will need a new floor.

“It will certainly have an impact on the income of the centre and we risk loosing some hirers.”

Anyone who uses the Willow Centre is advised to call ahead to check if it is open on 01603 457222.

 

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