JUST over a third of registered voters visited polling stations in the previous election, figures show.

Local elections take place in the borough next week, with Bolton anticipated to be hotly contested, so we have taken a look at the voter turnout from previous elections as well as some of the issues that voters want to be addressed by their representatives come May 5.

Electoral Commission data shows that at the last local council elections in 2021, 205,388 people in the area were eligible to vote, with 74,951 of them returning valid ballot papers – equating to a valid voter turnout of 36.5 per cent.

Around 31,000 postal votes were included in the count, while 446 votes were rejected, which can occur if a paper is not marked properly or has been spoiled.

Including votes rejected at the count, the ballot box turnout in Bolton that year was 36.7 per cent, which was higher than the England average of 35.7 per cent.

While the wider world of contemporary politics throws up many a contentious issue, a survey carried out by Ipsos ahead of the elections found 50 per cent of Britons thought improving the condition of roads and pavements should be a top priority for local councils.

Second on the list was providing affordable, decent housing, with 39 per cent of voters telling Ipsos this area was most in need of improvement.

Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos, said: “Although most people are pretty happy with where they live, they still want to see improvements, particularly on roads, housing, high streets and the local cost of living – all of which are regular bugbears for residents.

“And these can all vary by where you live, for example, crime is a particular issue in London, while in the rest of the South East, traffic congestion is a bigger priority.”