Review of Polling Places

We are carrying out a formal review of Polling Districts and Places between 1 October and 10 December 2018. This review is required in terms of the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 as all polling districts and polling places should be reviewed at least every 4 years.

All local authorities have to divide their area into polling district for parliamentary election purposes, and to designate polling places for these polling districts.  The aim of the review is to make sure that: -

  • All electors in each constituency have reasonable facilities for voting
  • So far as reasonable and practical, the polling places that the councils are responsible for, are accessible to all electors.  In considering suitable polling places, councils must ensure that they are accessible for people with disabilities.

A preliminary review was carried out in October 2017 and it gave the Council an opportunity of a longer period of consultation to ascertain stakeholders’ view and opinions, in particular, undertake a comparison between the original polling scheme used in 2015 with the revised Highland Council’s scheme that was devised in 2017.  Following the completion of Stage 1 of the public consultation, a total of 34 responses were received.

As part of the formal review, the Council are now asking for views and comments from interested people and groups on the proposed arrangements for polling districts and places listed below.

The Returning Officer has now published his proposals below and further responses are now invited on his proposals in Stage 5 of the undernoted timetable.

Representations can be made by completing the above feedback form: by post to Election Office, The Highland Council, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness IV3 5NX; by email to election@highland.gov.uk or direct by phone on 01463 702945.

The closing date for submissions will be 5.00pm on Monday, 10 December 2018.

All representations will be open to public inspection and will also be published on the Council’s website.  The outcome of the review will then be published on the Council’s website in March 2019.

 

Timetable for each of the stages of this preliminary review.

Stage 1 

  • Notification of the "preliminary" review - Publish notice of the preliminary review - Monday 2 October 2017  

Stage 2 

  • Administering the "preliminary" review - Undertake a review of current polling stations and districts - week beginning Tuesday 3 October 2017
  • Hold meeting with Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross
  • Hold meeting with Ross, Skye and Lochaber
  • Hold meeting with Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey 
  • Deadline for representations and comments on the existing and proposed arrangements for  polling districts and places - Wednesday 31 January 2018

Stage 3

  • Publish Returning Officer’s comments - Wednesday 28 February 2018

The outcome of the preliminary review will now form the basis of the compulsory review which will commence on 1 October 2018. It anticipated that the preliminary review has dealt with many issues in advance of the following stages:

Stage 4 

  • Notification of the review - Publish notice of the review. Formal review to commence on Monday 1 October 2018

Stage 5

  • Consultation - Representations and comments on the proposed arrangements for polling districts and places to commence Monday 1 October  to Monday 10 December 2018 (10 weeks)

Stage 6

  • Concluding the review - After considering all of the representations, the results of the review to be reported to Committee in February 2019

Stage 7

  • Publishing the conclusions after approval has been sought, details of the new polling districts and polling places must be available to the public (to include reasons for choosing a particular Polling District or Place) in March 2019

Stage 8

  • Appeals Process - Following the conclusion of the LA review, representations can be made to the Electoral Commission.  Final report to Highland Council in April 2019

On completion of stage 8 and following a final report to Highland Council the new scheme will be in place for all elections after that date.

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