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Background to the Polling District Review

We have a legal duty to ensure that (as far as is reasonable and practical) electors have reasonable facilities for voting, and that our polling places and polling stations are accessible to electors who are disabled. Regular polling district reviews help us know if we're fulfilling our duties.

We carried out a Polling District Review for the entire South Lakeland area between September and December 2019.

Why we carried out the review

We ran the review in 2019 because the law (the Electoral Registration Act 2013) changed how often we have to carry out these reviews. The law stated that we must have started and completed a review between 1 October 2018 and 31 January 2020. We last carried out a full review in 2014, although we undertook an interim review in 2017 to manage the district ward changes introduced by the South Lakeland Further Electoral Review.

Definitions

  • (Acting) Returning Officer ((A)RO): the person who acts as the Returning Officer in UK Parliamentary elections (also known as general elections)
  • polling district: a geographical subdivision of an electoral area (ie a UK Parliamentary constituency) for the purposes of elections. Each parish must have a separate polling district and must not be in a polling district that contains parts of a different parish
  • polling place: a building or area in which polling stations are to be selected by the (A)RO. Polling places must be chosen to ensure that polling stations are within easy reach of all electors in the polling district. Polling places should be located within the polling district, unless special circumstances apply
  • polling station: the room or area within a polling place where voting takes place on election days. It must be located within the polling place designated for the particular polling district
  • polling district code: each polling district has a code, made up of two or three letters and in some cases a number. This code is used for our administration purposes during elections and reviews. For example, the code for the Lakes Ambleside polling district is CDA

Scope of the review

What we looked at

  • the boundary, name and code of the polling districts
  • the possibility of creating new polling districts
  • the possibility of merging or abolishing existing polling districts
  • the polling place for each polling district
  • the suitability of the current polling stations used for each polling district, particularly its access for disabled electors
  • possible alternative polling stations
  • any known or future changes, eg buildings that ceased or were due to cease being suitable for a polling station, or buildings that may be more suitable

What we didn't look at

We couldn't review the boundaries or electoral arrangements for the following:

  • parliamentary constituencies
  • county council electoral divisions
  • district wards. These wards were changed in 2017 as a result of the Further Electoral Review
  • parish councils and parish meetings. We looked at parish arrangements earlier this year in the Community Governance Review

The information we published at the start of the review

We published the following information, as they were when we published the Register of Electors on 2 September 2019:

  • polling district codes
  • polling districts
  • polling places
  • polling stations
  • the number of people registered to vote in each polling district
  • the number of people who vote by post (or have a proxy who votes on their behalf by post)
  • the number of people who vote in person at a polling station (or have a proxy who votes on their behalf in person)
  • polling districts, polling places and polling stations we currently have in place. These details include the electorate, number of people who vote by post and number of people who vote in person as on 2 September 2019
  • the (A)RO's comments and proposals, which will be added later in the review

The comments and representations we received during the consultation period

The consultation period began on 16 September 2019 and ended on 1 November 2019.

Who we invited to make a representation and the comments we received

Review timetable

 Stage Action Date
Start of the review
  •  Notice of review published and sent to stakeholders detailed in 'the comments and representations we receive'
 13 September 2019
Start of the consultation period
  • current polling arrangements published, along with details on how to make representations
  • link to the online consultation hub opened. We also accepted comments made by post or email
 16 September 2019
Consultation period
  •  (A)RO's comments and draft proposals to make changes (if any) were published
 11 October 2019
End of consultation period  
  • link to the online consultation hub closed
  • we no longer accepted representations by email or post
  • the (A)ROs began to consider all representations made and make their final recommendations (if any)
 1 November 2019
Council decision  
  • final recommendations considered by the full Council at their meeting
 17 December 2019
End of the review
  •  correspondence, representations, minutes and any other documents required published 
As soon as practicable after 18 December 2019
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