Report of the Director of Legal and Governance Services.
The Committee received the report of the Director of Legal and Governance Services which set out the recommendations of the Polling District Review Working Group following a review of the Council’s polling districts and polling places.
The Chair of the Working Group introduced the report and explained that the review had been conducted as a result of the new ward arrangements coming into force in May 2022, as a result of the Local Government Boundary Commission for England’s review.
The Chair of the Working Group further reported that:
· the Polling District Review Working Group had used a number of different criteria in developing their proposals including using current polling district boundaries, ensuring that all polling stations were accessible for relevant electors, and attempting to retain polling stations which electors were used to attending;
· a formal public consultation was held on the proposals developed by the Polling District Review Working Group. The consultation took place between 14 June and 23 July 2021;
· 47 responses had been received in relation to the consultation. Most of these responses related to a request for Awylard Primary School not to be used as a polling station for the proposed Canons Polling District 2, but for the William of York Roman Catholic Church to be used instead;
· officers would be conducting an administrative task in due course to designate the new proposed polling districts prefixes. These would be included on the Full Electoral Register to be published on 1 December 2021;
· the maps included in the report were to be used as the definitive version of the proposals developed by the Polling District Review Working Group; and
· he wished to thank all Members on the Polling District Review Working Group, Electoral Services and the GIS Team for their assistance.
A Member of the Committee, who was also a Member of the Polling District Review Working Group reported that:
· he supported the comments made by the Chair of the Working Group;
· the proposals developed had demonstrated the cross-party nature of the work conducted by the Polling District Review Working Group; and
· the work conducted was vital to ensure participation by electors in the democratic process in electing relevant officials.
A Member of the Committee queried whether the Salvatorian College in Harrow Weald had been approached for use as a polling station. An officer confirmed that discussions had taken place in the past but it had not been successful in securing its use.
The Member of the Committee also queried whether streets and electors identified in Harrow Weald Polling District 4 could be split to go into Harrow Weald Polling Districts 3 and 5. An officer confirmed that electors were used to attending the area for the polling station identified in Harrow Weald Polling District 4. The Member confirmed that he was satisfied with the responses provided.
The Chair advised the Committee that he had received a representation prior to the meeting that properties in The Meadow Way, The Bye Way and Church Lane be moved from Wealdstone North Polling District 1 to Wealdstone North Polling District 3. The reason for this was that it would be easier for electors living in this polling district to vote at the polling station identified for polling district 3. Upon putting this to a vote, this amendment was agreed by the Committee.
Resolved to RECOMMEND: (to Council)
(1) the recommendations of the Working Group in relation to the individual polling districts and polling places for all future elections with effect from May 2022 to May 2027 set out in the report, together with the amendment to the Wealdstone North Ward as set out in appendix 1 to these minutes, be approved; and
(2) any further changes in venue within a polling district be agreed by the Returning Officer in consultation with ward members.