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95% of residents vote YES to Castle Toward buyout

After a long week campaigning and an even longer few days waiting for the vote to be counted and verified the results of last weeks Castle Toward community buyout ballot are now known. The local community group had, as part of the legislation, to hold a public ballot to gauge the support of the local community to the proposed buyout. As part of this legislation the local community group had to achieve a turnout of no less than 50% in the public ballot, this figure is quite high considering voting in local elections in the area are generally within the 25 -30% mark. Local group Chairman Alan Stewart said, “obtaining a 50% turnout was always going to be a tall order, and its the reason we decided to employ a different way of voting using the Mobile Ballot Box, in order to get people involved”

The group received the results of the public ballot, conducted by the Electoral Reform Service in London, late on Wednesday afternoon and the news was good. The community group have succeeded in getting more than the required 50% turnout achieving 57.1% at the ballot box. A figure that has pleased not just the group and the local residents but also the Community Right To Buy branch of the Scottish Government. In the ballot 95.2% of the voters voted Yes to the community buyout and it is believed that the Castle Toward ballot results maybe amongst one of the highest ever in a community buyout. “This really does show” said the groups Derek McIntyre, “that far from people being disengaged with the voting process, they are very much engaged. You just have to think out of the box - literally”

The community group can now continue in the process to purchase the Castle Toward Estate using the Land Reform (Scotland) act. “The public ballot is a huge hurdle to clear” said Alan, “now the Scottish Ministers, who ultimately make the decision on this, can be reassured that we have a clear mandate from the residents of South Cowal to proceed with it’s purchase.”

Here are the full results from the ERS in London.

Total Electorate 1319

Total Votes cast 753 - 57.1%

Total Yes Votes 713 - 95.2%

Total No Votes 36 - 4.8%

Spoiled ballots 4

A turnout of 57.1% in which 95.2% voted Yes to the community buyout

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