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Kent's most interesting local elections polling stations

By Caitlin Webb, local democracy reporter

From a portacabin to a pub garden - here are some of the most interesting places you can vote in the local elections today.

Registered voters will get a chance to cast their ballot for the parish, borough and two county council by-elections from 7am until 10pm.

Most polling stations are based in community centres, schools or churches, however, some lucky residents will get a trip to the pub, hotel or gym for their vote.

The Conningbrook Hotel in Kennington
The Conningbrook Hotel in Kennington

Conningbrook Hotel in Kennington is opening its doors to voters tomorrow.

Manager Ian Storey said: "The council approached me a few years ago asking if our function room was available to use as a polling station.

"I thought about it for a minute then said 'why not?'

"It's been great for business as people come into the hotel afterwards and either have a meal or a drink.

"It doesn't affect anything else at the hotel, people can still stay here and eat and drink as normal."

He added the function room will also be used for the upcoming European elections later this month.

Residents of Painters Forstal outside Faversham will have to venture to the pub to cast their vote.

The Alma in Painters Forstal
The Alma in Painters Forstal

Manager for The Alma, Claire Annand, said: "We've been hosting the polling booth for about a year.

"It used to be at the village hall but there isn't one any more so we agreed to have the vote here."

Whitehall Methodist Chapel, also known as the Champion Hall, was sold on the open market almost four years ago despite villagers raising funds in an attempt keep the community asset.

Mrs Annand added: "If we think the turnout will be big, we put a marquee up in the garden. If not, we close off a bit of the pub indoors.

"It's great when it's in the garden because people tend to come in afterwards and have a drink.

"There are some people who didn't even know we were here until they came to vote.

"It's been a great way to meet people from the community."

Voters for Maidstone Borough Council could be heading either to a gym or the hockey club to exercise their democratic right.

Bob Prowse Health Club in Maidstone
Bob Prowse Health Club in Maidstone

Manager of Bob Prowse Health Club in Armstrong Road, Paul Slyth, said: "The gym has been a polling station for a long time and I think was built in the lease when Bob Prowse set up here.

"The small hall has always been a polling station so it's just stayed that way.

"This does not affect the gym at all because it's in a separate room."

Many rural villages across the county will be have temporary mobile polling stations where there is no available communal space.

Most polling stations are based in community centres, schools or churches
Most polling stations are based in community centres, schools or churches

Swale Borough Council assembled a "portacabin on the green" in Throwley Forstal yesterday for the vote.

Previously one of the residents had volunteered their caravan but this is no longer available.

To find out where you can vote go to wheredoivote.co.uk and search for your post.

Only registered voters will be eligible to cast their ballot but a poll card is not necessary.

Head to our politics page for expert analysis and all the latest news from your politicians and councils.

Read more: All the latest news from around the county

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