Background to the Polling District Review
What the review is about
We have a legal duty to ensure, as far as is reasonable and practical:
- that electors have reasonable facilities for voting
- that our polling places (and polling stations) are accessible to electors who are disabled
We understand that our polling districts and polling places will never be completely ideal for every single elector in the area, but a polling district review helps us know if we're meeting these legal requirements.
Although the review will focus on polling places and polling districts, we will also be looking at our polling stations because the three are all connected. It wouldn't be possible for us to review our polling districts and polling places, without also considering our polling stations.
We want hear your views about your polling district, polling place and polling station
The review will include a public consultation. This is a period where local electors and other interested parties (for example, MPs, district council members and local groups/organisations for people with disabilities) can make representations about their polling district, polling place and/or polling station. A representation is a comment, view, opinion, suggestion or proposal.
The public consultation began on Monday 16 September 2019 and will end on 1 November 2019.
Any elector in the South Lakeland area can comment, about any aspect of the review. But we’re really keen to hear from people with experience or expertise on the issues around accessing facilities and premises, for people with different forms of disability. We’d also like to hear from people who have experience or expertise in helping someone to travel to a polling station and/or helping them to vote.
If you feel the current arrangements in your area might be improved, we welcome any suggestions for alternative arrangements.
Why we're carrying out a review now
We're running a review now because the law (the Electoral Registration Act 2013) changed how often we have to carry out these reviews. The review must be started and completed 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.
An (Acting) Returning Officer ((A)RO) is the person who acts as the Returning Officer in UK Parliamentary elections (also known as general elections).
A polling district is a geographical subdivision of an electoral area (ie. a UK Parliamentary constituency) for the purposes of elections. Each parish must be have a separate polling district and must not be in a polling district that contains parts of a different parish.
A polling place is 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.
A polling station is 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.
We must invite the ((A)RO) for each parliamentary constituency in our area to make comments and proposals. The South Lakeland District Council area covers all of the parliamentary constituency of Westmorland & Lonsdale and part of the constituency of Barrow & Furness, so we will invite comments from two (A)ROs during this review.
We will also invite the following individuals and organisations to make a representation:
- the Members of Parliament for Westmorland & Lonsdale and Barrow & Furness
- Cumbria County Council Councillors
- South Lakeland District Council members
- Parish Clerks
- political party agents
- staff who manage the buildings we use for polling stations
- Lake District National Park Authority
- Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
- local organisations with expertise in relation to access to premises or facilities for people with different forms of disability
We will publish the letters and emails we send to these stakeholders at the end of the review, along with any representations they make.
What you need to do to make representation
- Look at what we can and can't consider in the review
- Look at the current arrangements in your area
- How to give us your comments by submitting your representation
What we can look at
- the boundary, name and letters/numbers of the current polling districts
- creating new polling districts
- merging or abolishing existing polling districts
- the polling place for each polling district
- 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, e.g. buildings that have ceased or will cease to be suitable for a polling station, or buildings that have, or due to become, more suitable
What we can't look at
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
We've published details of all the current arrangements we have in place, and arranged them by district ward to make them easier to find. These details are:
- polling district letters (which we use for our reference when running elections and reviews)
- 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
How to find your district ward
- When the map opens you will see the polling district boundaries, as a purple line
- In the 'current address' field at the top of the map, enter your property details
- The map will zoom in on the property and mark it with a 'target' icon
- If you click on the target icon, a box will appear, containing the name of the district ward
View the information for:
- Ambleside & Grasmere
- Arnside & Milnthorpe
- Bowness & Levens
- Broughton & Coniston
- Burton & Crooklands
- Furness Peninsula
- Kendal East
- Kendal North
- Kendal Rural
- Kendal South & Natland
- Kendal Town
- Kendal West
- Sedbergh & Kirkby Lonsdale
- Ulverston East
- Ulverston West
The review Process
The review steps we have to follow are set out in Schedule A1 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 (as amended). We will also follow the Electoral Commission's guidance on conducting polling district reviews.
During the review
When carrying out the review we must:
- publish a Notice of Review
- consult with the (A)ROs for the parliamentary constituencies of Westmorland & Lonsdale and Barrow & Furness
- publish the (A)ROs' comments and proposals. We will publish these on our website and make paper copies available at South Lakeland House (Kendal), Ulverston Town Hall and Windermere Library
- invite representations from people and organisations with experience or expertise on the issues around accessing facilities and premises, for people with different forms of disability. We will contact disability/access groups and other interested parties
The decision to make any changes to current arrangements will be made by the Council, not the (A)RO. Any final proposals made by the (A)ROs will be considered by the full Council at their meeting on 17 December.
At the end of the review
Once the review is over we must publish:
- all the correspondence we sent to the (A)ROs in connection with the Review
- all the correspondence we sent to individuals and organisations with expertise in relation to access to premises or facilities for people with different forms of disability
- all representations we received from any person in connection with the Review
- the minutes of any meeting held by the Council to consider proposals to change polling districts or polling places
- details of the designation of polling districts and polling places in the area as result of the review
- details of where the results of the review have been published
Any approved proposals will come into effect when the Register of Electors is published on 1 February 2020.
|Start of the review||
||13 September 2019|
|Start of the consultation period||
||16 September 2019|
||Shortly after 1 October 2019|
|End of consultation period||
||1 November 2019|
||17 December 2019|
|End of the review||
||As soon as practicable after 18 December 2019|
||1 February 2020|