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Statutory Review of Polling Districts and Polling Places

What is the Review about?

South Ayrshire Council is required to undertake a formal review of UK Parliamentary polling districts and places within the South Ayrshire Council area.

The purpose of the review is to ensure that all electors have reasonable facilities for voting and that, as far as is reasonable and practicable; the polling places are accessible to all electors, including those who are disabled.

The timetable for the Review is outlined below:-

Notice of Review published on the council's website public consultation opens:

16/11/2023

Public consultation opens:

16/11/2023

Public consultation closes:

21/12/2023
4pm

Proposals

Documents can also be inspected at:-

The Election Office
County Buildings
Wellington Square
Ayr
KA7 1DR

In considering the suitability of potential premises to be used for polling purposes, guidance issued by the (Electoral Commission) has been used.  Polling places must be accessible for voters with disabilities and should either have level access, a permanent ramped access or be capable of having a temporary ramp installed.

Polling places are also required to have adequate internal and external lighting.  They should have sufficient space to display guidance notices and for a wheelchair to be able to turn around.  All of our polling stations already have both high and low level voting booths.  It is preferable that there is space for designated vehicle parking for disabled people.  The premises also require to have kitchen and toilet facilities for staff on duty on polling day.  The premises need to be available, usually exclusively, on polling day.

Where schools are designated as polling places, in-service days will be set to coincide with known electoral events.  When an election is scheduled, arrangements will be put in place to ensure, where possible, schools are able to remain open.  Legislation specifies that local authority schools may be used free of charge as polling places.  Schools are often centrally located in communities, accessible via public transport and provide disabled parking.

Next Scheduled Poll

The next scheduled Poll is the UK Parliamentary Election, the date of which is still to be confirmed.

How to Comment

The Returning Officer would welcome the views of elected representatives, political parties and electors within the UK Parliamentary Constituencies of Central Ayrshire and Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock (South Ayrshire area), particularly disabled residents, or any person or body with expertise in access for persons with any type of disability, to comment on these proposals and suggest alternative venues, if possible.

You can respond in the following ways:-

Email:   election@south-ayrshire.gov.uk

Mail:   Service Lead - Democratic Governance
            South Ayrshire Council
            Council Headquarters, Wellington Square, Ayr, KA7 1DL

Frequently Asked Questions

You can find out more about polling districts and polling places in our Frequently Asked Questions (Word doc) [13KB]

Appeals against the decision of South Ayrshire Council

The outcome of the Review will be considered by South Ayrshire Council at its meeting on the 29th February 2024, and then published.

An appeal can only be made on the grounds that South Ayrshire Council's review did not:

  • meet the reasonable requirements of electors in the constituency.
  • take sufficient account of disabled access to polling stations.

Right to Appeal

Following a local authority's review, certain persons have a right to appeal:

  • 30 or more electors in the constituency;
  • a person who made representation under Schedule A1 to the Representation of the People Act 1983.  This includes an elector in a constituency in the local authority's area who previously made representation to the local authority; and
  • a person who is not an elector in a constituency in the local authority's area but who the Electoral Commission thinks has either sufficient interest in disabled access to polling places in the area, or particular expertise in disabled access to premises and facilities.

Appeals should be made directly to the Electoral Commission.

If you are one of the persons mentioned above and would like to make an appeal which falls within one or both the grounds mentioned above, you can send your appeal to:

Legal Counsel
The Electoral Commission
3 Bunhill Row
London
EC1Y 8YZ

Email: appeals@electoralcommission.org.uk
Tel:  020 7271 0500

On the outcome of an appeal, the Electoral Commission may:

  • direct the local authority to make any alterations to the polling places designated by the review;
  • make alterations themselves, if the authority fails to make the alternations within two months of the direction being given.

Further Information

For further information on this review please contact South Ayrshire Council at election@south-ayrshire.gov.uk.