Voter turnout steady across Midlothian

Midlothian polling stations saw a steady stream of voters throughout yesterday as candidates were on hand to chat about everything from speeding traffic to congestion charges.

By Marie Sharp, LDR
Friday, 6th May 2022, 10:46 am
Updated Friday, 6th May 2022, 11:02 am

Despite one in four voters opting for a postal ballot this time around stations appeared busy with plenty of people still preferring to cast their vote in person.

Council leader Derek Milligan (Labour), who is defending his seat in Bonnyrigg, was relaxed about the outcome in his own ward with four nominees standing for three seats.

Both he and incumbent SNP councillor Dianne Alexander are expected to hold their seats with newcomers Daya Feldwick (Greens) and David Virgo (Cons) vying for the third seat.

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Derek Milligan outside the polling station at Lasswade Centre yesterday.

Mr Milligan, who has served the ward for a decade, was appointed leader of Labour’s minority administration in 2017.

Outside Lasswade Centre, with sunshine occasionally punctuating the grey drizzle, he cheerily greeted voters heading into the centre and listened to their concerns as they stopped to chat.

But he admits whoever takes control of Midlothian Council when the results come in this afternoon faces a tough challenge.

He said: “Officials estimate we have a £37 million funding gap in our budget and that is going to take tough decisions and will mean working together.

“It will be a tough challenge.”

As well as funding issues, Midlothian residents have reacted with anger to proposals by City of Edinburgh Council to introduce congestion charges which would see people living in the county charged for driving into the city, while Edinburgh residents could go back and forward for free.

More than 2,000 people have signed a petition protesting against the plans which would see residents in Danderhall who want to go to their local B&Q charged for crossing the boundary.

Whether the plans will impact on voters in that ward remains to be seen.

Meanwhile the number of postal votes returned was estimated at 70 per cent.

The count started at 9am this morning at the Lasswade Centre, with results expected to be announced by 4pm.

18 members are elected to Midlothian Council to serve six wards. Councillors are elected by the local community, and are responsible for making decisions on your behalf about local services such as roads and schools.