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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 April, 2003, 11:08 GMT 12:08 UK
City's culture bid vote row
Cardiff Bay
Cardiff Bay is one of the city's highlights
Officials behind Cardiff's city of culture bid have blamed a faulty voting system for coming fifth in BBC One's Clash of the Cities television programme.

Despite Cardiff notching up more than 13,000 votes in the week-long poll, it failed to impress the public who chose Newcastle/Gateshead as their winning city.

The Cardiff 2008 team who are co-ordinating the city's entry to the European City of Culture competition said they believed the online voting system was not working early on in the poll.

But a spokeswoman for the BBC said that all votes made in the poll had been registered correctly.

"We are not disappointed by the results because we think there was a problem with the online voting system," said Bet Davies, the marketing director for Cardiff 2008.

"We weren't disappointed at not being the top because Newcastle had been registering 14,000 votes by Thursday and there was no way we could catch up.

"We were very pleased we weren't last because being last wouldn't have been a very good boost for the team.

Results of the poll
Newcastle/Gatehead: 52, 241
Liverpool: 51, 514
Birmingham: 20,523
Bristol: 17, 115
Cardiff: 13, 834
Oxford: 10,752

"We have had very good feedback from the public and Cardiff looked great on the film," she said.

But a spokeswoman from the BBC team responsible for the online voting said that every vote made had registered correctly.

"There was a problem earlier on in the week when the wrong message appeared after voting but this did not affect the votes and every one was registered," she said.

"We also took steps in the week to ensure that no bulk voting could take place by setting up a system that asked people to register before voting," she added.

The informal vote was part of BBC one's Clash of the Cities programme which was aired on Monday night.

Hosted by Fiona Bruce, the poll was not part of the official decision process which determines the winning city.

Presentation

Judges for the competition are currently visiting the six cities which were short listed.

Bet Davies from Cardiff 2008 said: "The judges came here last week and seemed very pleased with what we had to offer.

"Everything was absolutely perfect for their visit.

"The weather was brilliant and there was a great atmosphere in Cardiff and the public were right behind us.

"Despite the results of the poll, we feel we are still up there and it is within our grasp.

"We are in it to win it," she said.

The Cardiff 2008 team are preparing to give a presentation to the judges of the competition who will make their decision in June.

The presentation - the last part of their bid - will take place on 19 May in front of the judging panel.




SEE ALSO:
Culture judges put city to test
23 Apr 03  |  South East Wales
Capital claims - European hopes
22 Apr 03  |  Wales


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