Election today . . .North of Tyne mayoralty

The typical, folding, British voting kiosk allows 1 or 2 voters to make their marks in private at the same time. More modern versions can accommodate 4 voters simultaneously.

So we’ve got the blurb from county, and a few bits and bobs from one or two candidates, but basically, trying to figure out what the point of this one is, feels like an endeavour for the legendary Sisyphus.

For a start, it’s a non sequitor, since we’re [ahhrehm] actually situated south of the Tyne, aren’t we? That is to say, everybody in this part of the East and West Allen river valleys, which ultimately follow up from the south to join with the Tyne to the west of Haydon Bridge. So, maybe they needed a simple kind of generality, so okay, but it’s still fair to ask: what’s a ‘mayor’ do when they’re in charge of a whole region?

I guess we’ll find out, won’t we? No doubt the voting kiosk has already been safely delivered to Allendale Village Hall (we have our own Polling Station at Sinderhope Community Centre now, which has taken over from the old station at Sparty Lea Methodist Chapel), and all the preparations are probably well enough in hand. For a turnout variously estimated to be something in the region of 10-20%. I’m just not sure that people really care about this one, to be honest.

Word in Allendale area notices had it that the ‘mayor’ (I feel like the role is more of the sort you’d call a governorship, somehow, since ‘mayors’ deal with cities, but they didn’t ask me 😉 . . .) word has it anyway that the mayor may have a singularly free hand to commission new housing. I wasn’t quite sure how the successful candidate would raise the funds to pay for the housing, though? Still, a happy thought for areas where local affordable housing is desperately needed.

But, it’s an election, and as such, it’s an event in participatory democracy, here in Allendale and its environs, and somehow, it feels like, if we can, we really should vote. Quite what the job entails, how it’s all going to fly further along down the political road, is a job for another psephologist. But not, this time, for me.


  1. And I wish we knew, before getting to the polling station, that we can vote for two candidates, ie choice one and choice two.

  2. To be fair, though, the two choice system was explained in the leaflet that came through from Northumberland County Council, and you don’t have to make a second choice, but if you don’t make a first choice, your vote won’t be counted. And you can’t make your second choice the same as your first. But all of these choices don’t go very far to explaining just what the mayor will, or may, actually do 🙂

  3. It is a strange name – ‘North of Tyne’ given that it includes Newcastle Upon Tyne, North Tyneside & Northunberland – perhaps the author didn’t study the geography of the area too closely! I think after the ‘south of Tyne’ areas declined to participate (if I remember correctly) it was perhaps an obvious if inaccurate choice of names.
    I don’t agree with Mayor posts but given that the winner, I understand, will have a (small and limited) budget of about £20 million at his disposal, I felt that democracy should play a part in how that money is spent.
    I voted late afternoon in Catton & it seems that so far (about 4pm) just over 10% of the electorate had actually voted – not great!
    Now we await to see if we have another democratic choice to make on the 23rd May…

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