Logistics support for Elections
“The Election threw so many curve balls at us, but each one was caught, smiled at and then returned to it's sender”
Business Moving Challenge
During the course of an Election local government requires logistics support to set up and clear down polling stations and to support ballot counts. Bournes have been providing these support services to the London Borough of Bromley for many years and have built a fantastic working relationship with the client team, together delivering great results for LBB Elections.
“During the course of Saturday 8 May ’21 I received a message from the Elections Manager which started off with the statement “We did it and we did it well”. I can only echo that message because if there was ever an Election that was designed to trip us up, this was the one.
The running of an Election in normal times is, as you know, exacting but throw into the mix a pandemic and all its associated demands it could only generate more issues that required different resolutions.
As we approached the Election Day itself I began to question my ability to be able to lead, support and deliver on the responsibilities that are invested in us to maintain the London Borough of Bromley’s proud record of continual success in its delivery of Elections. The main point of solace that I held onto though was that one of our core back stops was that we would have Bournes standing at our shoulder throughout the whole process.
The Election threw so many curve balls at us but each one was caught, smiled at and then returned to its sender. I have so many memories of the period and it would be difficult to capture them all, but I need to reference some of them in particular:
- The rounds changed significantly, but Bournes responded.
- We needed to employ the use of reserve vehicles to deliver additional Covid support items, but Bournes responded.
- We needed to manage the collection of Election materials by the Presiding Officers in a different way and on a Bank Holiday, but Bournes responded
- We needed to manage the return of Election materials by the Presiding Officers in a different way, but Bournes responded.
- We were held back in delivering our ballot boxes to our count area in the Excel Centre, but Bournes stayed with us.
- We needed to get the Bromley and Bexley ballot boxes emptied and decanted into the count trays as quickly as possible and Bournes smashed it
- The count activity over ran the time we had booked Bournes for, but they sorted it out and stayed with us as they were not prepared to leave us before the end.
- At the end of the count the Bournes team (who I am convinced were Spartan Warriors in disguise) undertook the task of taking the ballot papers out of the count trays and placing them back into ballot boxes for sealing and collection by the GLA. At the last London Assembly Elections this task was supported by 100 plus people working on the count, but the six Spartans did it on their own and in less time. My own and Tom’s biggest smiles of the day were when the GLA Lead questioned the ability of the guys to be able to do it
- When the actual Election period is over and we have to come into the Civic Centre to tidy up, the Bournes team stand with us. This task is very difficult as everyone is tired and running on pure adrenalin so Bournes assistance on these days is so very highly valued.
I am not sure how many times you can say ‘thank you’ to ensure it is fully acknowledged, but on behalf of us all here at the London Borough of Bromley can I please ask that each person at Bournes is thanked for their help in pulling us through another Election period.
It remains a professional and personal privilege to have the opportunity to work alongside the Bournes team as colleagues.
Being part of Bromley, we are very much wearers of the colour Green, but during the course of Elections we always make sure that we display a little bit of Red.”