returning officer at the local election count at the Baths Hall in
Scunthorpe on 1 and 2 May 2003 said the council noted today's legal ruling
and would cooperate fully with the court.
'The council will cooperate at every stage of the process, as we have since
the election result was declared in the contested seat in the Broughton and
Appleby ward on North Lincolnshire Council.
'I want to make it clear that the count was carried out professionally and
that my decision, as returning officer, that the disputed vote could not be
verified within the powers open me, was the correct interpretation. Only
the judge has that power. The judge has felt it necessary to issue this
'The judge made it clear there was no suggestion of any impropriety at any
time during the count. This is extremely reassuring as it protects the good
name and reputation of North Lincolnshire Council and its officers.'
Today's ruling does not itself affect the political
composition on the council, which after the election count in May 2003
resulted in a change of administration on North Lincolnshire Council. The
Conservatives hold 22 seats and Labour 21, on a 43 member council.
The next stage, following today's court ruling, is for a recount of the
contested seat to be held on 29 July 2003 at the Court of Justice in
London. The recount, under the jurisdiction of the court will begin at
10.30am. There will then be a report compiled with a final court decision
made in September. On 29 July the court will trace the declaration of
identity to establish if the contested ballot paper was signed.