It’s likely that – despite conflicting claims by the “Leave” Campaign and by the “Remain” Campaign – the people of Penarth will probably never know how the town actually voted in the EU Referendum.
The Labour-controlled Vale of Glamorgan Council – which was in charge of the referendum count across the Vale including Penarth – says it can’t establish how many ballot papers and postal votes were actually cast in favour of “Leave” or “Remain” respectively in the four electoral wards of Penarth (Cornerswell, St Augustines, Stanwell and Plymouth Ward).
The Vale Council’s Electoral Services Unit had said initially that a detailed ward-by-ward breakdown of the voting figures could only be given to “the media and interested parties” – the latter being defined as “referendum agents and campaigners“.
When PDN submitted a Freedom of Information Request, to compel the Vale to divulge the information, the council’s monitoring officer replied as follows;-
“I have reviewed the matter and can confirm that a breakdown of turnout is available but not a breakdown of how individual polling stations/districts or wards have voted. We do not hold this information as ballot papers are mixed with other polling stations / postal votes following the verification.” [ “Verification” is the first process that ballot papers go through prior to being counted] .
Prior to the referendum the Vale of Glamorgan’s Council’s ruling “cabinet” had wanted all Vale councillors to support a Welsh Local Government Association “position” in favour of the “Remain” campaign . The ordinary councillors however had other ideas and rejected a “cabinet” proposal motion to take a vote on the issue.