VOTERS heading to the polls in the county council elections in North Yorkshire will be faced with something new.

The Hambleton area is piloting an innovative new polling booth and for the first time in North Yorkshire voters will be screened by cardboard.

The district is the first in the county to test cardboard voting booths and the heavy wooden booths of old will stay in mothballs.

“Feedback from our election officers was telling us that the wooden booths are too heavy to manage - and are starting to need replacing,” said the district council’s chief executive Phil Morton.

“So we have hunted around for a lightweight solution – our new booths have been adapted specially for Hambleton. “The new booths are cheaper and if looked after will prove to be very cost effective.”

He added: “We will take feedback from election staff and voters and decide if this is the way forward – and if a success this system may end up being rolled out across the county.”

Voting takes place on Thursday, May 2, between 7am and 10pm across the county and all 72 seats on the county council are up for grabs.

Counting will take place on Friday and the results will be published on-line as they emerge.