Local elections 2021: How are councils in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire making polling stations Covid safe?

Ahead of the local elections on Thursday 6 May, councils across the region have been busy preparing to make sure the process is Covid safe.

The City of Lincoln Council has thousands of packs of PPE and lateral flow tests on standby.

Those heading down to the polls will be required to wear face coverings, unless exempt, and are encouraged to bring their own pen or pencil. Voters should also check the location of their polling station. The City of Lincoln Council has changed the location of 14 of its 57 polling locations to ensure the safety of voters.

Graham Watts, the elections manager at the council says planning has been tough this year.

He said: "Thinking through each part of our process that you'd normally take for granted, such as opening and counting postal votes, or actually a person coming to a polling station, making it safe. That's been the biggest challenge, elections are busy enough in terms of planning and delivering them."

Over in Leeds, the council has put one-way systems in place at its polling station to ensure voters can adhere to social distancing guidelines. Chief Officer for Elections John Mulcahy says there has been an increase in postal votes this year and expects polling stations to be quieter as a result.

He told ITV Calendar: "We have more postal voters now than we had that actually voted at the last election, so we anticipate the polling stations will be a lot quieter than they normally would because a lot of people that used to go to polling stations, have now decided on a postal vote instead."