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The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 30 November, 2015

Report of the Electoral Registration Officer

Review of Polling Place and Station for the Lavernock Ward

AND

Review of Polling Districts, Places and Stations for the Baruc, Buttrills and Castleland Wards

Purpose of the Report

  1. To agree the review of the Polling Place and Polling Station for the Lavernock Ward and the review of the Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations for the Baruc, Buttrills and Castleland Wards, in accordance with the Representation of the People Act 1983 (as amended).

Recommendations

  1. T H A T Cabinet notes the report and grants delegated authority to the Electoral Registration Officer to carry out a review of the Polling Place and Polling Station for the Lavernock Ward and a review of the Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations for the Baruc, Buttrills and Castleland Wards.
  2. T H A T Cabinet approves the timetable contained within the attached project plan at Appendix 1 to this report.

Reasons for the Recommendations

  1. To inform Cabinet of the key requirements in conducting the statutory review in line with Sections 18A, 18B, 18C and Schedule A1 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 (as amended) and to authorise the Electoral Registration Officer accordingly.
  2. To comply with the Representation of the People Act 1983 (as amended).

Background

  1. The Council has a duty under Sections 18A and 18B of the Representation of the People Act 1983 (as amended) ("the Act") to divide its area into polling districts, to designate the polling places for the polling districts in its area and to keep the same under review in accordance with the requirements of Sections 18A, 18B, 18C and Schedule A1 of the Act.
  2. The Council carried out a comprehensive review of all Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations within its boundaries in December 2014. This was in line with the statutory obligation during the compulsory review period.
  3. On 17th November 2014, Cabinet approved the change of Polling Place and Polling Station for Polling District NB0 (Lavernock ward) from a portacabin situated in Falcon Road to the Rangers Office at Cosmeston Country Park. This was subsequently approved on 17th December 2014 by Council as part of the comprehensive review. After the consultation period concluded, concerns were raised about the change of Polling Place and Polling Station approved for the Lavernock Ward.
  4. Further, since the 2014 review, concerns have been raised regarding the impact of the construction of residential properties along Ffordd y Mileniwm and the significant increase in population. As a result the Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations in the Baruc, Buttrills and Castleland Wards will also form part of the proposed review with a focus on the waterfront dwellings.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. In light of the above, a review relating to the Polling Place and Polling Station for the Lavernock Ward and the Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations for the Baruc, Buttrills and Castleland Wards is proposed.
  2. The attached project plan at Appendix 1 incorporates the statutory requirements for the review which are:
  • To publish a Notice of Review;
  • To consult with the Returning Officers for every parliamentary election held in constituency which is wholly or partly in its area;
  • To consult with other stakeholders including electors, local political parties and councillors, and such others that have particular expertise in relation to access to premises or facilities for persons who have different forms of disability;
  • Consultees must have an opportunity to make representations and to comment on the Electoral Registration Officer's representation;
  • To publish draft recommendations and send to all persons previously consulted inviting further comments;
  • The Council must give reasons for its decisions in the review and publish such other information as is prescribed and within prescribed timescales.
  1. As part of the review process the Council must also seek to ensure that:
  • it considers representations made by any person in connection with a review of a polling place which may include proposals for specified alternative polling place;
  • all electors in a constituency in its area have such reasonable facilities for voting as are practicable in the circumstances;
  • each community is a separate polling district unless there are special circumstances;
  • so far as in reasonable and practicable every polling place for which it is responsible is accessible to electors who are disabled;
  • it has regard to the accessibility to disabled persons of potential polling stations in any place which it is considering designating as a polling place or the designation of which as a polling place it is reviewing;
  • the polling place for a polling district must be an area in the district, unless special circumstances make it desirable to be an area wholly or partly outside the district;
  • the polling place for a polling district must be small enough to indicate to electors in different parts of the district how they will be able to reach the polling station.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. The publishing and administrative costs of the review will be met from the Electoral Registration Service's existing budgets.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. There are no direct implications arising from this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. Sections 18A, 18B, 18C and Schedule A1 of the Act provides statutory authority for the proposed review.
  2. In addition to the statutory obligation to undertake a comprehensive review within compulsory review timescales, Sections 18A and 18B of the Act also imposes a statutory obligation on the Council to keep polling districts and polling places in its area under review.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. There are no direct implications arising from this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. The review will have regard, as far as is practicable, to equality of access and needs of voters.
  2. Any proposed changes will be subject to an Equality Impact Assessment.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. Electoral Registration has links to the following corporate priority:

'Citizens of the Vale of Glamorgan can easily access efficiently managed services that are focused around their needs, have confidence in how decisions are made and are proud to live in the Vale.'

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This report is a matter for Executive decision by Cabinet. A report detailing the outcome of the review will be presented to Cabinet in due course and thereafter Council for consideration and approval.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. Consultation has been undertaken with the relevant ward Councillors.
  2. Councillor Penrose has submitted representations in support of the current arrangements continuing in the Lavernock Ward and Councillor Egan supports the proposed review relating to the Castleland, Buttrills and Baruc Wards.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Corporate Resources

Background Papers

Electoral Commission Guidance - Reviews of polling districts, polling places and polling stations

Representation of the People Act 1983

Electoral Administration Act 2006

Contact Officer

Rebecca Light (Electoral Services Manager, Legal Services)

Officers Consulted

Rob Thomas (Managing Director)

Responsible Officer:

Debbie Marles (Electoral Registration Officer)

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