Rochford District Council is required by section 18A of the Representation of the People Act 1983 (RPA 1983) to sub-divide its area into polling districts for the purposes of parliamentary elections and to designate polling places for each of those districts. In doing so, the authority must seek to ensure that all electors have reasonable facilities for voting as are practicable in the circumstances and have regard to the needs of electors who are disabled.
The last full review of Parliamentary polling districts and places was undertaken in 2014. The Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 introduced a change to the timing of compulsory reviews of UK Parliamentary polling districts and polling places requiring each authority to complete such a review between 1 October 2018 and 31 January 2020 (inclusive). The Act also required each local authority to subsequently undertake a review every five years.
The review will commence on 15th October 2018 to enable any amendments to be incorporated for the local and parish council elections on 2nd May 2019. The following definitions apply to electoral matters:
• A polling district is a geographical sub-division of an electoral area
• A polling place is a geographical area in which a polling station is located. At a meeting of the Finance & General Purposes Committee on 14th February 2002 each polling district was designated as the polling place for that particular polling district.
• A polling station is the actual area where the process of voting takes place and must be located within the polling place designated for the particular polling district. The final decision on the situation of polling stations rests with the Returning Officer.
• The Parliamentary polling districts and places are replicated for local government elections.
• It should be noted that Ward boundaries cannot be changed under this process.
When carrying out a review the following points must be taken into consideration:
• the authority must seek to ensure that all electors in a constituency in its area have such reasonable facilities for voting as are practicable in the circumstances;
• the authority must seek to ensure that so far as is reasonable and practicable every polling place for which it is responsible is accessible to electors who are disabled;
• the authority must have regard to the accessibility to disabled persons of potential polling stations in any place which it is considering designating as a polling place;
• the polling place for a polling district must be an area in the district, unless special circumstances make it desirable to designate any area wholly or partly outside the district;
• the polling place must be small enough to indicate to electors in different parts of the district how they will be able to reach the polling station.
When selecting a polling station there are some basic criteria which need to be considered.
• Geographical location within polling district.
• Disabled access
• Health and safety arrangements
• Ease of access for the electorate (including parking)
• Staff facilities
A description of each polling station has been provided on the accompanying document entitled Appendix 1. Known issues have been highlighted by the addition of an asterisk next to the polling station number.
Publication of Notice of the Review – 16 November 2018
Publication of Proposals and Acting Returning Officer’s comments – by 6 December 2018
Deadline for representations – 14 January 2019
Final recommendations considered at full Council meeting 19 February 2019
Implementation of report recommendations – 20 February 2019
Please note that any correspondence submitted in respect of this review will be published.