Local authorities are required to review their polling districts and polling places every five years under section 18C of the Representation of the People Act 1983. Each authority may choose the exact dates and length of their review; however it must fall within a specified window. The current compulsory review period is from October 2018 to January 2020.
The review for Wyre Forest District Council starts on 27 September 2019. The consultation period will run until 5pm on 28 October 2019. The final Report will be considered at full Council on 11 December 2019.
The definitions of the terms for the items being reviewed are:
- A 'polling district' is a geographical subdivision of an electoral area such as a district ward within which a polling place is designate.
- A 'polling place' is defined as the building or area in which a polling station resides.
- A 'polling station' is the room or area within a polling place where voting takes place. Unlike polling districts and polling places which are fixed by the local authority, polling stations are chosen by the (Acting) Returning Officer.
The review requires the council to:
- Seek to ensure that all the electors in the constituency have such reasonable facilities for voting as are practicable in the circumstances.
- Seek to ensure that so far as is reasonable and practicable, the polling places they are responsible for are accessible to all electors, and when considering the designation of a polling place, must have regard to the accessibility needs of disabled persons.
- Seek to ensure that polling places are within their polling district unless special circumstances make it desirable to designate an area outside the polling district.
The (Acting) Returning Officer is required to decide how many polling stations are needed for each polling place and to allocate electors to the polling stations in such a manner he thinks most convenient.
The following is not considered as part of the review:
- The changing of any district ward boundaries (which can only be done by statute following an electoral review carried out by the Local Government Boundary Commission). This review is concerned only with the administrative subdivision of a ward into polling districts which are then assigned polling places;
- The changing of polling districts in areas which are also aligned with parish boundaries and therefore cannot be amended during this review (these can only be amended during a Community Governance Review).
The Council is keen to receive representations from any interested individual, group or organisation, particularly those with expertise in access for persons with any type of disability, on alterations to current electoral arrangements. Representations should, wherever possible, include suggested alternative premises which may be used for polling purposes. Any elector within the authority or within the Wyre Forest parliamentary constituency may make a representation.
Wyre Forest District Council is not making any proposals to change the current polling districts or polling places. The current arrangements are considered to have worked successfully in several recent elections and electoral processes. There has been no discernible impact on participation as a result of the major changes agreed in 2014.
Information about the turnout can be seen in this report from 2015 which in particular reviewed participation levels since the changes agreed in 2014 ; and the most recent report, on elections in May 2019.
Occasionally a property will be built on land at the end of a road which falls into an adjoining polling district due to where the polling district lines are currently drawn. If any of these come to light during the current annual canvass and during this consultation, Wyre Forest District Council will contact the affected electors and will propose these changes in the final report to council.
View information on the current polling districts, places and stations including their electorate.
You can respond via the online questionnaire. Paper copies of the questionnaire are available at The HUB, Green Street, Kidderminster and at Wyre Forest House.
Alternatively you can respond in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or to the Electoral Registration Officer, Wyre Forest House, Finepoint Way, Kidderminster DY11 7WF.
Please note that as part of the review, all submissions, relevant correspondence and (Acting) Returning Officer comments will be made available for public inspection and be published in the final report and considered at full council on 11 December 2019. Personal data (such as your full address or email address) would not be published in the report to council and would be redacted (withheld).
Any changes approved by Council on 11 December 2019 will be incorporated into the electoral register in January 2020 and will take effect at any election after that date.