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Polling places review to re-run

News release issued:

A review of polling stations in the Blakebrook & Habberley South and Franche & Habberley North wards of Kidderminster is to be repeated.

All residents in the area, including those who have already completed a questionnaire online in October and November, will be asked to complete a new survey that has gone live today (Friday 11 December) and runs until 5pm on Friday 29 January 2021.

The consultation is being re-run after it emerged there had been errors in information provided on the council’s website in the first two weeks that the original survey went live, which may have confused respondents and potentially affected their answers.

The council has today apologised for the errors and announced that the consultation will be repeated to ensure results accurately reflect people’s views.

Proposals set out in the survey have not changed, but questions will be revised in order to make it clearer what the implications will be for voters in the wards.

As part of the review, residents were able to comment on the accessibility of polling places and whether they provide reasonable facilities for voting.

Proposals include creating a polling place in Habberley at Habberley Social Club. Under these plans, residents who usually vote at Gainsborough House Hotel would vote at either Habberley Social Club or Kidderminster Carolians Rugby Football Club. Some residents who normally cast their vote at Kidderminster Carolians Rugby Football Club would see their polling place change to Habberley Social Club. This will depend on their postcode.

Ian Miller, Electoral Registration Officer at Wyre Forest District Council said: “We apologise wholeheartedly to everyone who took time to complete the original survey. The most important thing is that the results of this consultation are accurate and fair and the only way we can be sure of that is to repeat the consultation exercise.

“I would ask everyone who filled in the original survey to complete the new questionnaire and I would urge anyone else in the two wards who may not have done so, to take up this opportunity and make their views known.”

For more information on the plans and to submit feedback residents can visit our polling place review information page.

The new consultation will run between Friday 11 December and Friday 29 January 2021. The Full Council meeting on Wednesday 24 February will consider the results of the consultation and take a decision on what changes should be implemented for elections to be held in May 2021.

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