To receive the report of the Returning Officer concerning the recommendations of the statutory review of polling districts and polling places.
The Committee considered the report of the Returning Officer concerning the recommendations of the statutory review of polling districts and polling places.
The Policy and Governance Manager referred to the public consultation that had taken place from 9 July to 8 September 2019 as shown at Appendix 3. A total of 10 responses had been received; 2 positive and 8 responses objecting to the use of specific schools as polling stations.
She advised that options had been explored to find alternative venues, and that there had been a general move to reduce the number of polling stations by merging existing polling districts to provide a number of benefits, including a reduction in the number of staff required. She explained the mergers would not have an impact on electors as they were only proposed in polling districts that used the same polling station.
Polling district boundaries for L2, L3 and L4
The Committee were asked to review the two options for L2, L3 and L4 and consider whether it would be practical to merge L2 and L3 which would leave L4 unchanged, or consideration be given for the boundaries to be redrawn.
After careful consideration, the Committee agreed to recommend Option 1 as this would provide a clearer boundary line.
In response to a question from Councillor Lewis regarding the boundary line in QSV1, the Policy and Governance Manager confirmed that no boundaries had been redrawn in Quedgeley Severn Vale.
Polling station for BT5
The Policy and Governance Manager advised that Tredworth Junior School had objected to the school being used as a polling station for a number of years. She added that Ward Councillors had been supportive and alternative locations had been identified at Hatherley Infant School and Tredworth Infant and Primary Academy.
Members noted that Hatherley Infant School was outside the polling district. Tredworth Infant and Primary Academy was a suitable building however, this location was less visible and accessible.
The Committee agreed to recommend that the polling station for BT5 remain at Tredworth Junior School.
Polling station for QFC3
Members were advised that Waterwells Primary Academy and Waterwells Sports Centre had been identified as suitable locations within this area.
Members noted that Waterwells Primary Academy was on the boundary of the polling district and ward, which could potentially cause confusion for electors in the Kingsway ward. Waterwells Sports Centre was accessible by foot, but due to a number of no through roads, access by car was less direct.
The Committee agreed to recommend that the polling station be moved for Waterwells Sports Centre.
The Policy and Governance Manager explained that the boundary between W1 and W2 at the very north-east currently runs through the land occupied by Sainsburys and the Peel Centre. It was proposed that the boundary be moved to run alongside St Ann’s Way to provide clarity for the housing being built in that area.
Councillor Hilton proposed a further amendment to the boundaries in Westgate Ward. He proposed that the boundary between W2 and W4 be amended to move the boundary from Brunswick Road to Southgate Street bringing properties from W2 into W4 to enable them to vote at a more convenient polling station.
The Committee agreed to recommend the proposal to Council, subject to the impact of the changes being reviewed by the Policy and Governance Manager.
The Policy and Governance Manager advised that once changes had been made, it was the intention to implement the changes with the revised the register was published on 1 December 2019; however, in the event of an unscheduled election being called before the end of the year, the changes would be implemented in January.
General Purposes Committee RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND to Council that:
(1) Option 1 be approved for the polling district boundaries for L2, L3 and L4.
(2) Polling station for BT5 to remain at Tredworth Junior School.
(3) Polling station for QFC3 be moved to Waterwells Sports Centre.
(4) Subject to the impact on polling station ratios being manageable, the boundary between W2 and W4 be amended to run along Southgate Street instead of Brunswick Road.
(5) The proposals for the 2019 Review of Polling Districts and Polling Places Review be approved.