On 5 September 2017, Newcastle City Council commenced a statutory review of polling districts and polling places.
The purpose of this review is:
To seek to ensure that all electors have such reasonable facilities for voting as are practicable in the circumstances
To seek to ensure that so far as is reasonable and practicable, the polling places are accessible to all electors who are disabled
- To have regard to the accessibility of disabled persons to potential polling stations in the polling place
- To, other than in special circumstances, locate the polling place in the polling district it serves
- To ensure the polling place is small enough to indicate to electors in different parts of the polling district how they will be able to reach the polling station
A period of consultation with electors and key stakeholders (including elected representatives, political parties and disability groups) is taking place between 5 September 2017 and 6 October 2017. As part of this consultation, we are seeking the views of those groups and individuals who have experience of accessibility issues for persons with different disabilities, in particular:
- The location of polling places: are they easy to get to from the road or street?
- Access for disabled people: ramp, dropped kerbs, internal barriers, lighting, voting facilities
- The proximity of the polling place to electors in the ward
- The size and layout of the room(s) currently used as polling station(s) within the polling place(s)
- Any suggestions for alternative, more suitable polling places or reasonable adjustments that might be made
- Any other issues
Ideally there would be a range of fully accessible buildings conveniently located for electors in the area within which to establish polling stations. However, this is not always possible because of the availability of premises in the area and where this is the case reasonable adjustments must be made to provide access for electors. In addition to any suggestions that you may have with regards to alternative polling places, we would appreciate your views as to the barriers that disabled people may face at particular premises, issues that you would like the Council to take into consideration, and any reasonable adjustments that you feel could address such issues.
The consultation is available online at www.letstalknewcastle.co.uk This includes proposed polling districts/places by ward and parliamentary constituencies, together with representations of the (Acting) Returning Officer by ward.
Please submit your comments and suggestions including your views on the (Acting) Returning Officer’s representations by no later than 7 October 2017 as follows:
- By Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- By Post: Electoral Services, Polling District/Place Review, Newcastle City Council, Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QH
All suggestions received during the consultation will be evaluated carefully against set criteria. Final proposals will be considered by Constitutional Committee. These revised arrangements, if approved, will come into effect when the revised version of the Electoral Register is published on 1 December 2017.
If you require any further information, or would like to discuss this matter further, please contact Ian Humphries on 0191 2777175 or Mark Crawford on 0191 2115190.