Under the The Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 all local authorities are required to complete a formal review of their parliamentary polling districts and polling places at least every five years. The last review in Southampton took place in 2014.
In Southampton, polling places are also considered annually following an election and in response to feedback and comments received from polling station staff, councillors and electors.
The next formal review of polling districts and polling places is scheduled to take place between July and November this year.
Timetable for this review
- Notice of start of review: 26 July 2019
- Start of Consultation Period: 29 July 2019
- End of Consultation Period: 20 September 2019
- Report to Council Meeting: 19 November 2019
- Arrangements come into force (and publication of revised Register): 1 December 2019
Where possible we try to minimise any disruption from elections within the community. For example, we try not to use schools to avoid any detrimental impact on childrens' education. Where schools are used it is a decision of the head-teacher whether the premises remains open or closes. Where a decision is taken to remain open, we endeavour to work with the school to minimise the impact on childrens' safety.
The previous use of portacabins has been reduced to mitigate the disturbance caused to local residents from excessive noise from the use of temporary generators.
However, we also have to balance this with the need to ensure that all electors are able to cast their vote at an election as easily as possible.
Thought must be given, for example, to the distance people have to travel to vote and any barriers to them getting there, such as major roads; whether the building has good access for wheelchair users or pushchairs; and whether it has parking spaces and good public transport nearby.
There are a large number of considerations and any final decision we make has to be a balance between all these factors.
Guidance for those wishing to make representations
- Where practicable, polling district boundaries should be well defined, eg. railway lines, roads, rivers.
- Each polling place should be located within the relevant polling district and any building should be accessible to all voters, including those with disabilities.