In the extensive coverage of the local election results many observers overlooked one quite extraordinary phenomenon; namely, the unprecedented number of spoilt ballots.

I was the Agent for the Liberal Democrats in Hertsmere where we celebrated the return of three new Lib Dem Councillors in North Bushey. In our one small area alone, there were almost six thousand spoilt ballot papers. As a political activist attending Election Counts for over fifty years, I have never witnessed anything even comparable. In two of the Hertsmere wards, the number of spoilt ballots actually exceeded the votes cast for the elected Councillor. The leader of the Labour Group, for example, was elected with 24 votes less than the number of spoilt ballots in his ward.

Contrary to the media view, the spoilt ballots were not confined exclusively to the Brexit issue. There were scores of voters who chose to comment on an expenses issue involving Morris Bright, the Leader of Hertsmere Tories, whilst many others expressed views about environmental issues in the absence of a Green Candidate.

Perhaps the time has arrived when we could find a way to allow voters to make a comment whilst still casting a legitimate vote.

Laurence Brass

Address supplied