Earls Barton - Options for polling stations
It is expected that the Earls Barton Neighbourhood Plan proposals will be the subject of a referendum during 2015. We are now looking at options for suitable polling stations for residents to vote in upcoming referenda and elections.
Following the election on 7 May 2015, officers reviewed the suitability of the various polling stations within the parish of Earls Barton. This was because a number of complaints were received from residents regarding the closure of the junior school and lack of on-site parking during school hours.
The polling station was previously located at the Methodist Church Hall in Broad Street, and before that at All Saints Parish Church Hall. Both locations were deemed unsuitable because of access and parking issues, so in 2015 the polling station was moved again to the junior school.
In terms of electoral regulations, the council has made the whole of Earls Barton parish the "polling place" so this allows the Returning Officer to exercise flexibility in re-siting the polling station (if necessary) without having to seek further permission from councillors.
The Returning Officer has, however, always sought to work with local people and councillors to, wherever possible, site the polling station(s) at the location which is regarded as most convenient for electors. This is, of course, subject to ensuring that the building is accessible for elderly and disabled electors.
We have a number of options for possible polling stations, including those previously used and also some new locations.
You can download the options which are apparent to the Electoral Services team, having looked around the village and spoken to councillors and residents. A detailed review of the youth club has been carried out because this was suggested as a possible suitable alternative, together with photographs and notes on other options.
If anyone resident or associated with the parish has any views on where the polling station should be best sited please contact the Electoral Services team at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01933 231831 by 31 August 2015.
The Returning Officer has a duty to make the final decision because he has the responsibility to locate the polling station in a place which is suitable and accessible, but will take all views into account.