Claims that the result of the vote on the way Isle of Wight tourism is funded was skewed by businesses not receiving ballot papers have been denied.

One businessman, former Isle of Wight Council member Barry Abraham, told the County Press this week his business and others had not received ballot papers.

He said questions needed to be asked about whether the Yes vote for another five year tourism BID (a 'tax' on tourism related businesses) was affected by people not being able to vote.

However, the Isle of Wight Council, which ran the ballot for the BID, said only two valid complaints had been registered about missing papers and another one which was not validated by further information.

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Mr Abraham, who runs Kite Hill Camping, at Wootton, said "There are a number of businesses that have not received any voting papers, ourselves included.

"Now it looks as though there has been a 37 per cent turnout of members of which 56 per cent voted in favour and we need to question how many businesses did not receive a ballot paper that potentially could have resulted in a different outcome.

"The council collects the business rates from the tourism businesses on the Island and should be well aware of where they are and who they are, especially as they would have been dealing with them on the pandemic payments.

"This whole process has left a bad taste in the mouth, particularly if the result is left to stand.

An Isle of Wight Council spokesperson said: "The council is confident the ballot process was run correctly and there were no irregularities which would have affected the result.

Every business that is subject to the BID was sent a ballot paper, by post, in September.

"As well as the three complaints, we also received a message from a campaigner mentioning this issue, but they were unable to supply any details of which businesses were affected and so no action could be taken.

"The ballot cannot legally be rerun but the result can be declared void by the Secretary of State only if they believe that there has been a material irregularity in the process."