Local authorities are required to carry out a review of Polling Districts and Polling Places every five years. The review seeks to ensure that all electors have reasonable facilities for voting in elections which are practicable in the circumstances and so far as it reasonable and practical seeks to ensure that every polling place is accessible to electors who are disabled.
We last conducted a review of polling districts and polling places from 1 December 2013 which ended in January 2014.
Since that review the Borough has been subject to a Periodic Electoral Review by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England which resulted in the pattern of wards within the Borough changing and the existing polling districts no longer matching with the wards and, as such, new polling districts were required. An interim review was carried out before the Borough elections in 2019
We are now undertaking a full review of all polling districts and stations.
The review covered:
- Polling districts, which are the areas created by the division of wards into smaller sections. Within each polling district a polling place can be determined which is convenient to electors;
- Polling places, which are the locations, normally the buildings, in which polling stations are sited.
The review does not cover ward or constituency boundaries/names which are the responsibility of the Local Government Commission (wards) and the Parliamentary Boundary Commission (constituencies).
As part of the review there was a period of public consultation which ran between 6 September 2019 and 5pm on 7 October 2019.
Runnymede residents and other interested bodies or organisations, were asked to read the public consultation document and submit their comments, in relation to the size and boundaries of polling districts, and the location and suitability of polling places, with particular regard to access for disabled residents.
The Aims of the Review
In accordance with Section 18B (4) of the Representation of the People Act 1983, the review sought to ensure that:
a) All electors have such reasonable facilities for voting as are practicable in the circumstances;
b) So far as is reasonable and practicable, polling places are accessible to all electors, including those who are disabled; when considering the designation of a polling place, have regard to the accessibility needs of disabled persons.
c) Wherever possible to not use schools or mobile units unless there is no other alternative.
Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations
A polling district is a geographical sub-division of a ward. It can be the whole ward.
A polling place is a geographical area in which a polling station is located. A polling place can be defined as a particular building or as the entire polling district. All polling places in Elmbridge are designated buildings e.g. schools and hall.
A polling station is the actual area where the process of voting takes place, and must be located within the polling place designated for the particular polling district. There can be more than one polling station in a polling place.
The Council is responsible for designating polling districts and polling places. The Returning Officer is responsible for designating polling stations.
Representations were received from six interested parties and they are contained in the.
The Returning Officer considered all the representations and his final recommendations will be ratified at the meeting of the Corporate Management Committee on 14 November. The Register of Electors will be published on 1 December 2019 in accordance with the new scheme. In the event of a General Election being called before the 1 December, the existing polling stations will be used and the register with the new Polling District and Polling Places will be published at a later date.