Review of Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations 2019
In accordance with the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013, Eden District Council is required to complete a compulsory review of the polling districts and polling places that fall within its area. The review must be started and completed between 1 October 2018 and 31 January 2020 with a public consultation forming part of that review.
The Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 introduced a change to the timing of compulsory reviews of UK Parliamentary polling districts and polling places. The last such review in Eden was undertaken in October 2014 from which the results were agreed by full Council in December 2014.
A review of polling places offers an opportunity to take account of known future changes, for example, where buildings have ceased or will cease to be capable of being used as polling stations and more suitable buildings that are, or are due to become, available.
This review is undertaken under Section 18C(5) of the Representation of the People Act 1983 which allows the Council to carry out at any time a review of a particular polling district or polling place. While the pattern of provision will never be ideal to suit all electors, the proposals try to maximise convenience by using the best locations.
Definition of terms
- A 'polling district' is a geographical subdivision of an electoral area such as a district ward within which a polling place is designated.
- A 'polling place' is defined as the building or area in which a polling station will be selected by the Returning Officer.
- A 'polling station' is the room or area within a polling place where voting takes place. Unlike polling districts and polling places which are fixed by the local authority, polling stations are chosen by the Returning Officer.
The review requires the Council to:
- Seek to ensure that all electors in a constituency have such reasonable facilities for voting as are practicable in the circumstances.
- Seek to ensure that every polling place they are responsible for is accessible to all electors and when considering the designation of a polling place, must have regard to the accessibility needs of disabled persons.
- Seek to ensure that polling places are within their polling district unless special circumstances make it desirable to designate an area outside the polling district.
The Returning Officer is required to decide how many polling stations are needed for each polling place and to allocate electors to the polling stations in such a manner he thinks most convenient. It is important to note that the review does not affect ward or constituency boundaries, but is instead about the location at which people cast their vote.
Eden District Council is keen to receive representations from any interested individual, group or organisation, particularly those with expertise in access for persons with types of disability, on alterations to current electoral arrangements. Representations should, wherever possible, include suggested alternative premises which may be used for polling purposes. Any elector within the Parliamentary Constituency of Penrith and the Border may make a representation.
The review and where to send your comments
The Schedule of Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations contains the Returning Officer's proposals and sets out the proposed polling districts, polling places and polling stations. Comments are sought from local electors and interested organisations about these proposals.
You can email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, or post them to the Returning Officer, Eden District Council, Town Hall, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 7QF.
What happens next?
This consultation runs from Monday 12 August 2019 until Monday 30 September 2019.
Final recommendations, taking into account the Returning Officer's comments and representations made during the consultation period, will be made in a report to full Council which will be considered by Members on 7 November 2019.