Statutory Review of Polling Districts and Polling Places

South Ayrshire Council required to undertake a formal review of polling districts and polling places in the South Ayrshire area and UK Parliamentary Constituencies which fall within any part of the authority area.

The consultation took place between 26 March 2019 and 26 April 2019.

A report was considered by South Ayrshire Council at its meeting on 27 June 2019 and the new polling scheme has now been approved.

The Returning Officer is now required to publish:-

  1. all correspondence sent to any person whom the authority contacted because they had particular expertise in relation to access to premises or facilities for disabled people;
  2. all representation made by any person in connection with the review;
  3. the minutes of any meetings held by the Council to consider any revision to the designation of polling districts or polling places within its area as a result of the review;
  4. details of the designation of polling districts and polling places within its area as a result of the review. (link)

The above documentation can be viewed at:-


Customer Service Centres The Wallace Tower, 172-175 High Street, Ayr
17-19 Knockcushan Street, Girvan
64 High Street, Maybole
4-6 The Cross, Prestwick
Municipal Buildings, South Beach, Troon

Libraries
5 South Beach, Troon
14 Kyle Street, Prestwick
12 Main Street, Ayr
1 High Street, Maybole
Montgomerie Street, Girvan

The Appeals Process

Following the conclusion of the local authority’s review, certain persons have a right to make representation to the Electoral Commission. If, on receipt of such representation, the Electoral Commission find that the local authority’s review did not:

  1. meet the reasonable requirements of the electors in the constituency, or a body of them; or
  2. take sufficient account of the accessibility for disabled persons of a polling station/polling stations within designated polling places.

the Electoral Commission may then direct the authority to make any alterations to the polling places that they think necessary and, if the alterations are not made within two months, the Electoral Commission may make the alterations themselves.

Who is entitled to make representation to the Electoral Commission?

The following may make representation:-

  • thirty or more registered electors in each constituency (although electors registered anonymously cannot make representation);
  • a person (except the Returning Officer) who made representation to the authority when the review was being undertaken; and
  • any person who is not an elector in a constituency in the authority’s area but who the Commission thinks has sufficient interest in the accessibility of disabled persons to polling places in the area or has particular expertise in relation to the access to premises or facilities for disabled persons.

In addition, the Returning Officer may make observations on any representation made to her.

Format of representation?

All representation must be made in writing, either by post, or email. The representation must be as specific as possible and should clearly state the manner in which it is alleged that the local authority has failed to properly conduct the review. There are only two grounds on which a representation may be made. These are:

  • the local authority has failed to meet the reasonable requirements of the electors in the constituency; and
  • the local authority has failed to take sufficient account of accessibility to disabled persons of the polling station/polling stations within a polling place.

Representation based on any other premise will not be considered. Representation should include the location of the polling place and any other relevant information regarding the polling place at issue, stating specifically why it is inaccessible or does not meet the reasonable requirements of the electors.

Representation may also include for consideration specific proposals for changing the place that has been designated as the polling place.

Representation should be sent to:

Legal Counsel
The Electoral Commission
3 Bunhill Row
LONDON
EC1 8YZ
Tel: 020 7271 0500
Email: appeals@electoralcommission.org.uk

Further information on appeals, including the decision made of previous appeals on the Electoral Commission’s website www.electoralcommission.org.uk