Local election 2022: 86-year-old couple 'disgusted' as post vote arrives after polling day

File photo dated 05/05/2016 of a polling station sign in north London. Voters will go to the polls i

The couple have been voting via post for four or five years, and have never had an issue before - Credit: PA

A 86-year-old couple were “disgusted” to receive their postal votes too late to partake in the recent local election. 

Roy and Mary Thomas have lived in their home in the Hylands ward since 1966, and have voted via post for the last four or five years. 

Due to their age, Roy said getting to their nearest voting station on Osborne Road has proven increasingly challenging. 

“We are getting on. We are 86, and we do find it a bit difficult now to travel,” he said. 

He added that, until this year, he and Mary had never had any problems with their postal votes. 

However, he said they were “so disgusted” when their slips arrived on Friday, May 6, a day after votes had to be cast. 

A spokesperson from Havering Council said it had not received any complaints about late postal votes, and added everyone who got in touch before 5pm on election day had theirs re-issued.

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On what happens when postal votes need re-issuing, the spokesperson said residents are asked to collect them directly from the council offices.

“(We were) totally upset about it,” Roy said. “We have voted all our lives. It’s our democratic right to do that.” 

Roy added that he and Mary were not alone, with a neighbour also receiving theirs late.

“She said ‘well if they aren’t going to bother sending me a voting slip, I won’t vote,’” he said. 

A Havering Council spokesperson said: “We haven’t received any complaints about postal votes being delivered late. 

“Each person who requested a postal vote was made aware on their postal polling card that if they had not received their postal vote by April 28, they should contact the council. 

“We’ve checked our records and everyone who contacted us before 5pm on election day had their lost postal vote re-issued. 

“Postal votes can be handed in at any polling station within the borough up to 10pm on election day.” 

Local elections took place across various local authorities around the country, including all of London’s boroughs, on May 5. 

In Havering, no one party was able to claim a majority of the seats, resulting in what is known as No Overall Control (NOC)

Efforts to agree various power-sharing agreements between the parties are currently stuck at an "impasse" as the deadline to form a new administration by the annual full council meeting on May 25 looms.