Headlines: October 17th, 2007

People across England are being urged to take part in a special poll to demonstrate pride in their local community. Scores of local authorities are taking part in the vote, the first national council-led online poll of its kind, which is inviting people to visit council websites to select one of ten locally-nominated favourite places.

Some of the 104 councils taking part have already involved local people in drawing up their shortlists of locations, which appear on special ‘Pride of Place’ pages on their websites. The result is a wide range of contenders including Wigan Pier, Peterborough Cathedral, Silverstone motor racing circuit and the pile of horseshoes at Aslockton in Nottinghamshire.

The landscape is also reflected in the nominations with the northern Lake District and the farmers that work there being put forward by Lord Melvyn Bragg and the Fowey valley in Cornwall being nominated by Tim Smit, the founder of the Eden Project.

The Communities Minister, Parmjit Dhanda said he hoped the poll would prompt people to visit their local council’s website to cast their votes. “The poll is a fun introduction to the mass of valuable and easily accessible services and information on council websites including planning, schools, libraries, bin collections, and paying bills,” he added. The Pride of Place poll is part of the wider ‘Connect to your Council’ campaign, designed to encourage citizens to access local authority services online.