Issue - meetings


Meeting: 23/11/2023 - Regulatory and General Purposes Committee (Item 29)


Additional documents:


The Director of Law and Governance submitted a report advising Members of the consultation outcome following the statutory polling place and polling district review which had been undertaken in September/October 2023 following approval to undertake a consultation by this Committee on 7 September 2023.


The Civic and Electoral Services Manager reported that the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) must conduct a statutory review of polling places and polling districts every five years which can start no earlier than 1 October 2023 and must be completed within 16 months.  Therefore, this must be completed by no later than 31 January 2025.


Members were informed that the statutory responsibility for reviewing UK Parliamentary polling districts and places rests with each relevant local authority in Great Britain for so much of any constituency as is situated in its area.


The Local Authority has a statutory duty to undertake a full review of their Parliamentary polling places and polling districts within the Borough and make such changes as would be considered necessary to ensure they remain accessible to all electors.


Members were informed that the review formally commenced on 2 October 2023 with the publication of a formal notice at Birkenhead Town Hall and a publication on the Council’s website.  Notices had also been published on the Council’s social media and online channels.


The Civic and Electoral Services Manager referred to the outcome of the consultation outlined within the report and advised that Electoral Services had received representations from electors and Ward Councillors and that representations had been received in the form of 39 ‘Have your say’ responses and one email from a Ward Councillor.


The Chair, with the support of Councillor Sullivan thanked the Electoral team for their ongoing hard work.


In response to questions from Members, the Civic and Electoral Services Manager advised that the Acting Returning Officer had published notice of the review and had consulted with interested groups, including those with expertise in relation to access to premises or facilities for disabled people, or bodies including electors, political parties, MPs and Members of the Council.


Members were further advised that of the 103 polling places, 45 schools had been used in 2019 however this had now been reduced to 34 and that the use of schools was constantly under review.


On a motion by Councillor S Bennett and seconded by Councillor J Stewart Laing, it was –


Resolved – That, in light of the consultation, it was not necessary to change any of the current polling places as a result of the review.