Agenda Item No. 9(b)
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
COUNCIL MEETING: 17 DECEMBER 2014
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 28 NOVEMBER 2014
C2527 REVIEW OF POLLING DISTRICTS, POLLING PLACES AND POLLING STATIONS (RO) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) -
Approval was sought to agree the final proposals made by the Council's Returning Officer in accordance with the statutory review of polling districts, polling places and polling stations that was agreed by Cabinet on 28 July, 2014.
The Council had a statutory duty under s.18A and 18B of the Representation of the People Act 1983 ("the Act") (enacted by s.16 of the Electoral Administration Act 2006) to divide its area into polling districts for the purposes of parliamentary elections, and to designate a polling place for each polling district in a constituency and to keep the polling districts and places in its area under review in accordance with the requirements of s.18C and Schedule A1 of the Act.
The Council carried out a review of its polling districts, polling places and polling stations in December 2011. In accordance with the statutory requirements of the Act the Council must complete a review of each polling district and polling places in its area within a period of 16 months beginning with 1 October, 2013 and every fifth year thereafter, with any changes proposed implemented by the end of January 2015.
The consultation process commenced in August 2014 with the advertisement of the Council’s intention to undertake a review of polling districts, polling places and polling stations within the Vale of Glamorgan. The advertisement was placed on the Council's website and also via press release in local papers. As well as residents of the Vale of Glamorgan, key local stakeholders were contacted directly and were invited to make representations. Representations were invited by 15 of September, 2014.
Following consideration of the representations received by the Council's Returning Officer and Elections Team an initial proposal was prepared and sent out for further consultation, with a closing date of 24 October, 2014 the outcomes of which were considered and collated and the proposed changes were prepared for approval.
No representations were received regarding the polling districts. A summary table of representations received regarding polling places and stations was attached at Appendix D attached to the report. There were eleven representations made in total throughout both phases of consultation, one of which was confirmation of Dinas Powys town councils approval of all stations within the ward, another was querying the suitability of all polling stations for the Plymouth Ward. The remaining nine representations related to seven stations, three representations of which related to the polling station currently sited at Falcon Grove in Lavernock which was moved to this location during the review of polling districts, places and stations undertaken in 2011. One of the representations was also received after the close of consultation in relation to the proposed change at Ysgol Maes Dyfan. This would be looked into following the 2015 General Election, along with the representations into additional polling stations being required in the Butrills and Castleland areas.
No change was proposed to the polling districts which were established a number of years ago. All community councils had at least one separate polling district and were well-defined and identifiable.
A schedule of existing polling stations, that incorporated the proposed changes was attached at Appendix A to the report. The schedule set out the reasons for the decisions made within the review
Attached at Appendix B.1 and B.2 to the report were the Equality Impact Assessment Scoping Forms for the proposed changes at Ysgol Maes Dyfan (B.1) and Falcon Grove (B.2). Attached at Appendix C to the report was a full list of key local stakeholders that were consulted within the process.
At the meeting the Cabinet Member for Childrens Services left the room and took no part in any discussions that took place.
The Head of Legal Services commented that whereas in paragraph 7 of the report reference was made to "polling stations within the Plymouth Ward" this should read "polling stations for the Plymouth Ward". It was highlighted that All Saints Church Hall and Stanwell Road Baptist Church School room were outside the Plymouth Ward and that this had been taken into account when arriving at the proposals / final results in Appendix A attached to the report. The Head of Legal Services also advised that no comments had been received from the High Sheriff.
This was a matter for Executive decision
(1) T H A T no change be made to the Polling Districts for the Vale of Glamorgan.
(2) T H A T Polling Station GC0 / GD0 currently sited at Ysgol Maes Dyfan in the Court Ward be relocated to Gibbonsdown Community Centre, polling station DB0.
(3) T H A T Polling Station NB0 currently located within a portacabin on Falcon Grove in Lavernock be moved to the Rangers office within Cosmeston Lakes Park.
(4) T H A T proposals outlined in resolutions in 1-3 above be referred to Council on 17 December, 2014 for information.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To confirm the current Polling Districts in light of the review.
(2) Ysgol Maes Dyfan is due to be demolished during early 2015 prior to the May 2015 General Election and therefore an alternative location was required for Polling Station GC0 / GD0.
(3) The proposal to move Polling Station NB0 into the Rangers Office at Cosmeston Lakes Park is in response to representations made about access and parking issues to, and around, Falcon Grove by local residents when the portacabin is in situ.
(4) To apprise Council.
[View Cabinet report]