Venue: 007 b - Civic Office. View directions
Contact: Jonathan Goodrum, Senior Governance Officer. Tel. 01302 736709
Declarations of Interest, if any.
No declarations were made at the meeting.
The Committee received a report on the outcome of the review of Polling Districts and Polling Places 2019/20. Members noted that the statutory responsibility for reviewing UK Parliamentary polling districts and places rested with each relevant local authority, with reviews being required to be conducted every four years.
Detailed schedules outlining the existing arrangements for polling districts and places and proposed changes taking into account the submission of the Returning Officer and feedback from public consultation were set out in the appendices to the report. The proposals sought to identify more appropriate polling places where adverse comments had been received on the location and/or suitability of current venues, to enable schools to remain open on election day, to identify alternatives where usual stations were no longer available and to avoid using mobile stations which were expensive to hire and site and were unpopular with voters and residents in the surrounding area.
In introducing the report, the Assistant Director of Legal and Democratic Services explained that the review, which had commenced in August 2019, had been delayed due to the calling of the General Election at short notice on 12 December 2019. This had resulted in the timeframe for the review being revised, with this Extraordinary meeting being convened in order to present the report in time to conclude the review by the statutory deadline of 31st January 2020.
The Interim Electoral Services Manager drew Members’ attention to an errata sheet tabled at the meeting, which gave details of errors in the appendices to the report, as follows:-
· Page 48: Parish council information relating to polling district UB was incorrect. The report indicated no parish council. The entry for the parish council for this polling district should read Edenthorpe Parish Council.
Members then considered in detail the content of the schedules as appended to the report and agreed the proposals for each Ward in turn, subject to discussion and/or questions on the following points:
· Councillor Mark Houlbrook queried whether the trend towards Academies and Free Schools would have an impact on the availability of these premises for use as polling stations in the future. In response, the officers explained that Academies and Free Schools were still funded by the public purse, so the principle remained the same. While these schools could not legally refuse to allow the use of their premises as polling stations, the officers stressed that they always tried to work constructively ... view the full minutes text for item 11.