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Review of Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations

Corporate Issues

1. Purpose of Report

To note the review of Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations and agree to the arrangements as set out in the report.

2. Advice

That it be RESOLVED:



1. That the outcome of the Review be noted.

2. That the arrangements regarding Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations in Daventry District as detailed in the report now submitted be agreed.

3. That the Governance and HR Manager, in consultation with the Returning Officer, be granted delegated authority to make such amendments to Daventry District Council's Parliamentary Polling Districts and Polling Places Order as considered appropriate from time to time prior to the next full review scheduled for 2023-2025.


3. Introduction

The Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 laid down the timing of compulsory reviews of UK parliamentary polling districts and polling places. The last review was completed in December 2014. The next compulsory review must be started and completed within the period of 16 months commencing 1st October 2023.

The Act describes the Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Station in the following way:

Polling Districts: A polling district is a geographical area created by the sub division of a UK Parliamentary Constituency for the purposes of a UK Parliamentary election. In England, each parish is to be a separate polling district.

Polling Place: The building or area in which polling stations will be selected by the Acting Returning Officer. A polling place within a polling district must be
Report Reference: C.250719/2

designated so that polling stations are within easy reach of all electors from across the polling district. The Electoral Commission are aware that some authorities designate the whole polling district as the polling place. However, Section 18B(4)(e) of the RPA Act 1983 states that “the polling place must be small enough to indicate to electors in different parts of the district how they will be able to reach the polling station”. It is therefore considered that polling places should always be defined more specifically than simply the polling district i.e. by designating the name of the polling place (normally a particular building or area).

Polling Station: A polling station is the room or area within the 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 relevant Returning Office for the election.

Any changes to the above will be reflected in the publication of the register of electors on 2nd December 2019.

4. Information

The requirements to be undertaken as part of a review are set out in Schedule A1 to the Representation of the People Act 1983. Local authorities must:

- Publish a notice of the holding of a review - Seek representations from such persons as it thinks have particular expertise in relation to access to premises or facilities for persons who have different forms of disability. - On completion of the review give reasons for its decisions and publish all correspondence, minutes of meetings concerning the review and details of the designation of polling districts and polling places within the local authority area as a result of the review.

Access Requirements

Local authorities have a duty to review the accessibility of all polling places to disabled voters and ensure that every polling place, and prospective polling place for which it is responsible is accessible to disabled voters so far as is reasonable and practicable. Some of the main physical access issues are:

- Polling stations with steps into the entrance - Lack of space which does not allow for motorised wheelchair manoeuvrability - Lack of low level polling booths - Location – not close to electors, poor parking facilities, no public transport - Uneven ground unsuitable for those with mobility problems

5. Consultation

The review commenced on 8th March 2019. A questionnaire was sent to booking agents for their comments, availability of stations etc. Comments were invited from County, District and Parish councillors together with members of the Peoples Panel and the Disability Access Group. Notice of the review was published in the local papers and on the Daventry District Council website,
Report Reference: C.250719/2

inviting comments from all electors. All were asked for suggestions for alternative polling stations.

Initial gathering of information was concluded on 12th April 2019 and all comments considered. The Returning Officer’s proposals were published and consultees were invited to comment.

The consultation period ran from 14th May 2019 and ran until 18th June giving five weeks for comments to be made.

The final proposals to change polling stations, including consultation responses, are set out in Appendix 1.

All proposals for no change are set out on the table in Appendix 2.

6. Proposed Changes

Changes are proposed for three polling stations, the details and considerations are set out in Appendix 1 and summarised below.

Daventry

Daventry Court Hotel, Sedgemoore Way, Daventry – Electors on the Monksmoor estate to use a new polling station at Monksmoor Park CE Primary School. This provides a more convenient location for voters. The school will remain open on polling day with child safety being the highest priority. Using the school will be a temporary measure until a new Community Building has been constructed on the Monksmoor development over the next few years. Hopefully, this will take place before the school is at full capacity (the school houses one year group at present).

The change will bring about a new polling district and polling place as well as a new polling station. The electorate as at 28th June 2019 was approximately 870 and this is expected to rise as the new development is completed. (See Appendix 1).

Woodford Halse

Woodford Halse Social Club - Electors to continue to vote at the Social Club which is now under new management and will continue to be available. The Memorial Hall, whilst a perfect venue, was deemed to be too close to the other Woodford polling station at Dryden Hall and not as convenient to voters. The Memorial Hall can still be utilised in emergencies. (See Appendix 1).

Harlestone

Harlestone Village Institute - Electors in Harlestone to continue use the Harlestone Village Institute. However, would now move to vote in the larger of the two rooms (still within the same polling place). This room provides direct disabled access from the car park. (See Appendix 1).

Report Reference: C.250719/2

7. Other Considerations

Whilst reasonable efforts are made to avoid the use of schools it should be noted that electoral legislation provides the Returning Officer with an entitlement to use schools as polling stations. At present, no schools are closed on polling day and safeguarding actions are put in place.

The new unitary authorities for Northamptonshire are expected to be established in 2021 and Councillors will be elected to the area that is currently covered by Northamptonshire County Council. Once the unitary authorities have been established it is expected that the Boundary Commission will reduce the number of Members in the wards and could make changes to those ward boundaries and therefore the polling districts. However the polling places and stations would most likely remain the same.
8. Implications

8.1 Financial It is expected that the minor changes proposed will have minor additional costs which will be met from existing budgets.

8.2 Personnel There are no personnel implications as a result of the proposals.

8.3 Legal/Constitutional These have been identified in the report.

8.4 Environmental There are no environmental implications as a result of the proposals.

8.5 Policy There are no implications to policy as a result of the proposals.

8.6 ICT There are no ICT implications as a result of the proposals.

8.7 Crime and Disorder There are no Crime and Disorder implications as a result of the proposals.

8.8 Human Rights Article 3 of the First Protocol of the Human Rights Act commits signatories to hold free elections by secret ballot under conditions which will allow the free expression of all voters. This gives electors the right to vote and an obligation on the Returning Officer to make such arrangements as are necessary to maximise opportunities for voting.

8.9 Equalities Information relating to access for voters with disabilities has been collected in relation to all polling stations and considered as part of the review.

Report Reference: C.250719/2

9. Conclusions

In line with the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 a review of the Council’s Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations has been undertaken. Full consultation was carried out with stakeholders. The Returning Officer therefore proposes changes to arrangements at two polling stations with a third that was consulted on remaining the same. The remainder of the Council’s designated polling stations remain unchanged.

Tony Gillet Executive Director (Resources)

Background papers:

Electoral Commission ‘Reviews of Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations’.

Electoral Commission ‘Overview of the legislative requirements of a polling district/polling place review.

Contact Officer: Leanne Marlow ext. 2311

 

 

 

Appendix 2 – Daventry District Council Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations No Change Proposals

A District Ward

B Recommended Polling District (Prefix)

C Proposed Polling Place/Station

D Approx Electorate as at the information gathering stage

E Returning Officer’s Comments

Abbey North
Daventry Abbey North Ward (GT1) (GT2)
Community Centre, Ashby Road 2133 No major issues to report.
Daventry Abbey North Ward (GT4)
Mayfield Park Sports Club, Royal Star Drive
1224 No major issues to report.

Abbey South
Daventry Abbey South Ward (GU3)
Ashby Fields School, Wimbourne Place
1199 The school works well as a polling station. We have a member of staff on the main reception letting voters in to the polling station and we have processes in place for safeguarding the children.
Daventry Abbey South Ward (GU1) (GU2)
Community Centre, Ashby Road 771 No major issues to report.
Daventry Abbey South Ward (GU)
Daventry Methodist Church, Golding Close
1269 On balance the best location to vote in the area. The Saxon Suite at the Leisure Centre is a good alternative if the Methodist Church is unavailable.
Daventry Abbey South Ward (GU)
Daventry Methodist Church, Golding Close
1278 On balance the best location to vote in the area. The Saxon Suite at the Leisure Centre is a good alternative if the Methodist Church is unavailable.

Barby & Kilsby
Ashby St Ledgers (AE) Ashby St Ledgers Village Hall, Main Street
115 No major issues to report.
Barby (AK1) Barby Village Hall, Kilsby Road 869 No major issues to report. Onley (AK2) Onley Park Village Hall, Onley Park 190 No major issues to report. Crick (BV) Crick Old School, Church Street 1776 Best central location in the village. Kilsby (DS) Kilsby Village Hall (Kilsby Room), Rugby Road 1043 No major issues to report.

Braunston & Welton
Braunston (AX) Braunston Village Hall, The Green 1454 No major issues to report. Welton (GB) Welton Village Hall, High Street 501 No major issues to report.
Report Reference: C.250719/2
A District Ward

B Recommended Polling District (Prefix)

C Proposed Polling Place/Station

D Approx Electorate as at the information gathering stage

E Returning Officer’s Comments

Brixworth
Brixworth (AZ) Brixworth Village Hall, Holcot Road 2111 Looked at Brixworth Community Centre as a potential additional venue due to the development in the village. Decided not to be used due to areas of safety requiring updates. Brixworth (AZ) Brixworth Village Hall, Holcot Road 2125 Looked at Brixworth Community Centre as a potential additional venue due to the development in the village. Decided not to be used due to areas of safety requiring updates. Cottesbrooke (BS) Cottesbrooke Village Hall, Station Road 118 No major issues to report. Creaton (BU) Creaton Village Hall, Teeton Lane 387 No major issues to report. Draughton (CC) Draughton Clubroom, Main Street 53 No major issues to report. Lamport (DV) Education Centre, Lamport Hall 203 No major issues to report. Maidwell (EA) Loder Hall, Harborough Road 227 No major issues to report. Scaldwell (FB) Scaldwell Village Hall, School Lane 235 No major issues to report.

Drayton
Daventry Drayton Ward (GV1)
Nene Hall, Tamar Square 1650 No major issues to report.
Daventry Drayton Ward (GV1)
Nene Hall, Tamar Square 1021 No major issues to report.
Daventry Drayton Ward (GV2)
Stefen Hill Sports Park, The Main Lounge
1224 No major issues to report. Car park will be resurfaced this year.

Hill
Daventry Hill Ward (GW1)
Southbrook Community Centre, Hood Road
1132 No major issues to report.
Daventry Hill Ward (GW1)
Southbrook Community Centre, Hood Road
1111 No major issues to report.
Guilsborough (CW) Guilsborough Village Hall, The Green 540 No major issues to report.
Report Reference: C.250719/2
A District Ward

B Recommended Polling District (Prefix)

C Proposed Polling Place/Station

D Approx Electorate as at the information gathering stage

E Returning Officer’s Comments

Long Buckby

Long Buckby Wharf (DP)
Long Buckby Wharf Village Hall, Three Bridges Road
87 Extra heaters will need to be supplied for the Presiding Officer. Discussed moving to Long Buckby Community Centre but felt it would be more convenient for the electorate in Long Buckby Wharf to remain the same.
Long Buckby (DY) Long Buckby Community Centre, 41 Station Road
1592 No major issues to report.
Long Buckby (DY) Long Buckby Community Centre, 41 Station Road
1610 No major issues to report.
Watford (FY) Watford Village Hall, Main Street 235 No major issues to report. West Haddon (GC) West Haddon Village Hall, The Green 1429 No major issues to report.

Moulton
Moulton (EG) Moulton Community Centre, Sandy Hill
1556 No major issues to report.
Moulton (EG) Moulton Community Centre, Sandy Hill
1913 No major issues to report.
Overstone (EO) Overstone Village Hall, Sywell Road 672 No major issues to report.

Ravensthorpe
Great Brington (AY1), Little Brington (AY2)
Brington Reading Room, Main Street 382 No major issues to report.
East Haddon (CE), Holdenby (DM)
East Haddon Village Hall, Main Street 659 No major issues to report.
Hollowell Ward (DN), Teeton Ward (DO)
Hollowell Village Hall, Church Hill 330 No level access currently, but the booking agent has stated they will be investing in an appropriate ramp in due course.
Coton Ward (EX), Ravensthorpe (EY)
Ravensthorpe Village Hall, High Street
558 No major issues to report.

Spratton
Boughton (AR) Boughton Village Hall, Butchers Lane 1268 No major issues to report. Chapel Brampton (AV1), Church Brampton (AV2) Bramptons Primary School, Harlestone Road
650
No major issues to report. Pitsford (ES) Pitsford Village Hall, High Street 535 No major issues to report.
Report Reference: C.250719/2
A District Ward

B Recommended Polling District (Prefix)

C Proposed Polling Place/Station

D Approx Electorate as at the information gathering stage

E Returning Officer’s Comments

Spratton (FG) Spratton Village Hall, School Road 969 No major issues to report.

Walgrave
Hannington (CZ) Hannington Village Hall, School Lane 214 No major issues to report. Holcot (DL) Holcot Village Hall, Back Lane 339 No major issues to report. Old (EM) Old Parish Charities Community Centre, 5 Townson Close 371 No major issues to report. Walgrave (FV) Walgrave Baptist Chapel, School Room 729 No major issues to report.

Weedon
Stowe-Nine-Churches (FL)
Church Stowe Closed C of E School, Main Street
224 Only suitable venue in the village for the electorate. Dodford (CB) Dodford Village Hall, Brockhall Road 136 No major issues to report. Everdon (CK) Everdon Village Hall, High Street 295 No major issues to report. Farthingstone (CO) Farthingstone Village Hall, Maidford Road 151 No major issues to report. Flore (CQ) Flore Millennium Hall, 56 High Street 1046 No major issues to report.
Newnham (EK) Newnham Village Hall, Church Street 507 No major issues to report. Norton (EL) Norton Village Hall, Daventry Road 311 No major issues to report. Weedon (FZ) Weedon Village Hall, West Street 2222 The larger room is better suited for the polling station. Brockhall (BA), Whilton (GE), Whilton Locks (GM) Whilton Village Hall, Main Street 281 No alternative venue.

Welford
Arthingworth (AD) Arthingworth Village Hall, Kelmarsh Road
201 No major issues to report.
Clipston (BL) Clipston Village Hall, High Street 552 No major issues to report. East Farndon (CD) East Farndon Village Hall, Main Street 253 No major issues to report. Great Oxendon (EP) Great Oxendon Village Hall, Main Street 252 No major issues to report. Marston Trussell (EC) Marston Trussell Village Hall, Main Street 145 No major issues to report.
Report Reference: C.250719/2
A District Ward

B Recommended Polling District (Prefix)

C Proposed Polling Place/Station

D Approx Electorate as at the information gathering stage

E Returning Officer’s Comments

Haselbech (DE), Naseby (EH)
Naseby Methodist Chapel, Gynwell 706 No major issues to report.
Sibbertoft (FD) Sibbertoft Reading Room, Berkeley Street
285 No major issues to report.
Kelmarsh (DR) The Orangery, Kelmarsh Hall 64 No major issues to report. Sulby (FM), Welford (GA) Welford Village Hall, West Street 980 No major issues to report. Welford Congregational Chapel is going to be the contingency venue.

Woodford
Badby (AJ) Badby Village Hall, The Green 518 No major issues to report. Byfield (BC) Byfield Village Hall, The Green 1059 No major issues to report. Charwelton (BH), Fawsley (CP) Charwelton Village Hall, Church Street 206 No major issues to report. Canons Ashby (BD), Woodford Cum Membris (GL2) Dryden Hall, School Street 758 No major issues to report. Catesby (BF), Hellidon (DF) Hellidon Village Hall, Church Lane 233 No major issues to report. Preston Capes (EU) Preston Capes Village Hall, Old Forge Lane 154 No major issues to report. Staverton (FJ) Staverton Village Hall, Croft Lane 383 No major issues to report.

Yelvertoft
Cold Ashby (BO) Cold Ashby Village Hall, Main Street 225 No major issues to report. Lilbourne (DX) Lilbourne Village Hall, Station Road 305 No major issues to report. Winwick (GJ) The Old School House, Winwick 82 No major issues to report. Thornby (FQ) Thornby Village Hall, Church Lane 150 No major issues to report. Clay Coton (BK), Elkington (CH), Stanford (FH), Yelvertoft (GP) Yelvertoft Reading Room, 85 High Street
799 No major issues to report.

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