Residents to cast votes at Carlisle pub in local election

PUBS are places where politics is often hotly debated over a pint, but next week one bar goes a step further by becoming the venue where the electorate will actually cast their vote.

The Milbourne Arms in Carlisle will be transformed into a polling station on Thursday, May 6.

The Milbourne Arms, Carlisle which will be transformed into a polling station

Voters in the city’s Cathedral & Castle ward are asked to attend the pub in the Shaddongate area of the city to make their choices in the elections.

Dianne Irving, who owns the Milbourne Arms, said: “We are more than happy to help where we can and if this provides reassurance for people to come and cast their vote in a safe venue then we are very grateful that our pub was chosen.

Dianne Irving, owners of the Milbourne Arms

“As the Milbourne Arms is currently shut due to Covid-19 restrictions, it’s great to see that the venue can still be useful to our residents and the city.

“We are also looking forward to welcoming members of the community who might not have been able to visit our pub since it was refurbished last year.”

Although local elections in Cumbria have been rescheduled until May 2022 due to the consultation on proposals for local government reorganisation in the county, elections for vacant seats on local councils and for the Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner will still be held.

Cathedral & Castle ward is one of three Carlisle City Council by-elections taking place, along with Harraby South & Parklands ward and Newtown & Morton North city ward. There will also be a Cumbria Council Council by-election in Brampton.

Safety measures and social distancing regulations will be in place at the Milbourne Arms polling station. Residents are reminded to wear a face covering when attending the polling station unless they are medically exempt and to use the hand sanitiser provided.

Dianne also runs the award-winning Crown Inn at Stanwix and the Howard Arms in Carlisle city centre, which opened their beer gardens for outdoor food and drink on April 15 following the easing of the Government’s lockdown restrictions.

The Milbourne Arms, which does not have an outside space, is due to reopen to customers from Monday, May 17 in accordance with stage three of the Government’s roadmap. The Howard Arms and the Crown Inn are also set to open for indoor food and drink from that date.

Dianne added: “We can’t wait to get all three pubs fully open and get people back through the doors again.

“It’s been an incredibly tough experience for the hospitality industry but we are now counting down the days where we can resume some form of normality and restore some routine to our lives.”