Review of Polling Districts and Polling Places in Highland
Changes to a number of Polling Districts and Polling Places in the Highlands were agreed yesterday at the meeting of the Community Safety, Public Engagement and Equalities Committee.
The Review of Polling Districts and Polling Places in Highland commenced in November 2013, in line with duties under the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013.
The Council must ensure that electors have reasonable facilities for voting, which are suitable for disabled access. A number of proposed changes, including the closure of some Polling Places were recommended in a detailed a report to the committee.
The following changes were agreed:
Two Districts in Wick have been amalgamated with voters allocated from St Fergus Church to the Boys Brigade Hall 300 yards away. Voters who previously voted at Bower Community Hall are to use neighbouring Polling Stations at Castletown, Watten, Keiss and Reiss. Thrumster Hall has poor access and facilities and voters will be allocated to the Assembly Rooms in Wick (5 miles away) for an interim period and the position reviewed when improvement works have been completed. Voters who used Canisbay Hall will now use Mey Hall.
In Wester Ross and Strathpeffer, three changes were agreed. The Polling Place at Kishorn, which has unsuitable facilities, is to be merged with Lochcarron Hall. The Caravan at Coulags, Balnacara does not meet any access requirements, therefore the District is to be merged with Lochcarron Hall as the Polling Place. Contin Village Hall, which has no disabled access, is to be merged with Strathpeffer, which is 3 miles away.
Electors in the Lower Wards area of Fortrose will be able to vote at Fortrose instead of Rosemarkie.
Some changes have been made within Ward 20, Inverness to increase convenience for voters. 361 people in the voting district of I20B in Inverness South, who currently vote at Green Hill Drive will be allocated to Inshes Primary School. In Ward 15 (Central) two alterations to Polling District Boundaries are proposed to make voting more convenient for voters in this area.
Voters at Insh Village Hall are to be allocated to Kincraig Community Hall. Low numbers of electors at Advie Public Hall and Kingairloch Church will be allocated to Cromdale Public Hall and Strontian Hall respectively.
The Polling Place in three Districts is to be changed: Polling at Lower Town Hall, Dingwall is to be relocated to Dingwall Community Centre. Polling at the Dunbar Memorial Hall in Auldearn is to be relocated to Letham Road Hall. The Aviemore Community Centre is the designated Polling Place in Aviemore, as the Public Hall is no longer available.
A further review will be carried out in relation to two Polling Places which currently have accessibility issues. Suitability of facilities at Torrin Outdoor Centre and Britannia Hall, Dunnet are to be considered prior to a final decision by the Chief Executive in consultation with the Council Leadership and local Members.