I WOULD like to thank two out of every three people reading this column for saving me £30.
On Friday morning I parked near Huddersfield Sports Centre and shovelled some money into the pay-and-display machine to get a ticket to take me through to the end of the election count.
In a non General Election year the whole thing is usually done around 1pm, so I put in enough change to take me up to 1.45pm.
Unfortunately, the machine failed to accept one of my pound coins. Before I knew it, I had a parking permit which ran out at 12.45pm.
Not willing to hurry out in the middle of the count to put more money in the parking machine, I decided to take the chance of the fine.
I put the sticker in my car and went in to the count centre, half-expecting to come back to my vehicle to see a ticket (I’m one of life’s pessimists).
It turned out I had no need to worry about the council’s vigilant parking wardens. I was back in my car shortly after midday and on my way back to Bradley long before the parking pass ran out.
Why was I gone so soon from the sports centre? Simple. It doesn’t take long to count the votes when only one in three people bothers to cast one in the first place.
Turnout in this year’s Kirklees elections was down significantly on last year’s figure, which was itself less than wonderful.
In Colne Valley only 35% of people bothered to vote last Thursday, compared with 44% in 2011.
A relatively impressive 45% of Kirkburton residents dragged themselves to the polls last year, but only 32% managed to make the effort again this year.
And in Dalton, which has long been on the naughty step at voting school, turnout dribbled down from a feeble 37% last year to an appalling 29% last week.
It may have saved me a £30 fine, but there’s something seriously wrong with politics in this country when democracy becomes the pursuit of a dwindling minority.