RESIDENTS faced with the closure of their village pub have stressed its importance as a polling station.

The Gun Inn pub, Ridsdale, doubles up as the local polling station because it is the only community building left in the village.

Gillian Todd has lived in Ridsdale since 1987, and travelled the short distance to vote from Rendle Terrace.

“It’s the last means of a community hub in the village so we should definitely keep it open,” she said.

“There’s a lot of elderly people here who would have to rely on a postal vote if it closed.

“The pub is on the road to Scotland and has the potential to attract a lot of visitors if it can be used well.

Chairman of Corsenside Parish Council, Carl Hamilton, said: “I’m very aware of the challenges that face us residents if the pub was to close.”

The nearest polling stations to Ridsdale are West Woodburn and Bellingham, and Mr Hamilton added: “It’s a two-mile drive or walk to the next polling station and not everybody has access to transport.

“As a community resource it’s absolutely vital. It’s the glue that keeps us together.” The Ridsdale Community Group is due to place a bid for the pub on December 22 after an influx of donations.