Polling District and Places Review 2018 - Outcome
Within each Local Authority area, legislation requires Councils to carry out reviews of Polling Districts and Polling Places in that area.
The Electoral Registration & Administration Act 2013 changed the timing of these reviews and the first review was held between 1 October and 31 January 2015 with subsequent reviews to be held within a 16 month period starting on 1 October every fifth year after 1 October 2013.
The Council's last review was held in 2014 when a number of changes were made.
A Council's area is divided into polling districts with one or more districts making up a ward, with a polling place being the area or building within a polling district in which a polling station is situated. Consequently, it is inevitable that polling stations are also considered as part of these reviews.
In line with the guidance issued by the Electoral Commission the review has considered:
- The boundaries of polling districts - for example, are they well defined? Do they follow natural boundaries? Are there suitable transport links?Are there any obstacles to crossing polling district boundaries?
- Polling Places - the location, size and accessibility of the polling place and its availability now and in the future
- Polling Stations - the suitability and accessibility of the room or area for use as a polling station
In addition the Presiding Officers who worked on the elections in 2017 were asked to complete the Electoral Commission's evaluation templates in order to assess the suitability/ accessibility of the polling place/ station.
Tees Valley Combined Authority has also provided electorate projections for the current polling district boundaries in each year and up to 2023. This take into account new housing and demolitions.
The following tables summarise the existing arrangements, key issues identified from the recent Tees Valley Mayoral and Parliamentary Elections and any notable projected changes in electorate. There were a number of more detailed comments from the Elections in relation to individual polling stations in relation to improving accessibility/ privacy of voting. These detailed observations are not included within the schedule but will be taken into account in the planning for future electoral events.
Mobile polling stations continue to be used where no alternative venues can be found. Mobiles stations are expensive and unpopular with voters and suggestions for alternative venues are always welcomed.
The use of some schools as polling stations continues to be a problem when the safeguarding of children cannot in the view of the schools be assured, and in these circumstances alternative venues have been identified. The Returning Officer's proposals/ comments are included below in relation to the polling districts and places within each ward. The proposals take into account Electoral Commission Guidance that the number of electors allocated to a particular polling station should not exceed 2,500 and also the planned introduction of Voter Identification which would be more resource intensive on polling day.
It is usual for the Polling Place to be within the Polling District however the Returning Officer reserves the right to designate a Polling place within an adjoining Polling District should circumstances dictate.