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Council chief forfeits wages after Sheffield poll chaos

11 May 10 12:03 GMT

Sheffield City Council's boss has given up his £20,000 returning officer fee after long queues stopped people voting at the general election.

Police were called to sit-in protests at three polling stations in the city after hundreds were unable to vote.

The council's chief executive, John Mothersole, who was responsible for voting, apologised and admitted the council had "got things wrong".

The Electoral Commission is carrying out a review into what happened.

Clegg apology

Mr Mothersole, said: "I recognise everyone has a right to be able to cast their vote.

"In some locations in Sheffield we got things wrong and that's unacceptable. I do not excuse nor hide from this fact.

"I have made the decision not to claim the fee for the role of Acting Returning Officer which would have been paid after the elections.

"Sheffield City Council is responding to The Electoral Commission's request for information as to what happened last week.

"We are also doing our own review into what happened on Thursday so that we can avoid these problems occurring in the future."

Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg apologised to people who were unable to vote after queuing for more than three hours at the Ranmoor polling station in his Sheffield Hallam constituency.

Some students reported being put in a separate queue from residents while the residents' queue was said to have moved more quickly.

Mr Mothersole has written to the student union presidents at the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University to apologise for the problems.

He said the council would meet with student representatives to discuss the situation and work on improvements for the future.

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