Venue: CORNERSTONE ARTS CENTRE, 25 STATION ROAD, DIDCOT, OX11 7NE
Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Mrs D Brown and Mrs J Wood.
Election of a chairman
The committee elected Mrs Lyn Lloyd as Chairman for this meeting.
Election of a vice-chairman
The committee elected Mr Neville Harris as Vice Chairman for this meeting.
Declarations of interest
To consider the report of the chief executive on proposals for polling districts and polling places following a periodic review required by the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 – report to follow.
The Chairman reported that, under the Local Government Act 1972, local authorities were required to give five clear days notice of a meeting. Due to the fire at the council offices at Crowmarsh Gifford it was not possible to arrange an alternative venue and finalise the report with five day’s clear notice. The agenda for this evening’s meeting was published last Wednesday, notice given at the council offices at Crowmarsh Gifford, at Cornerstone Arts Centre and on the council’s website accompanied by a notice specifying the change of venue.
In light of the special circumstances she stated that she was of the view that the meeting should proceed without five clear days notice. Consideration of the polling districts and polling places review was necessary to ensure the council completed the review by 31 January 2015 in accordance with The Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013.
The committee considered the report of the chief executive on proposals for polling districts and polling places following a periodic review required by the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013.
The chief executive advised that officers would not request the Local Government Boundary Commission to amend the Wheatley and Forest Hill and Holton district ward boundary to align with the new parish boundary for Holton and Wheatley prior to the May 2015 elections. He therefore confirmed his proposal, set out in the report, to designate Holton village hall as a polling place for Wheatley parish in addition to the Merry Bells in the heart of Wheatley.
The committee supported the proposal to use John Hampden School as a polling place for the May 2015 elections in light of the lack of agreement from Lord Williams’s School for the use of the Thame Youth Centre.
In response to a proposal to use All Saints Community Centre as a polling place the chief executive advised that this would involve the closure of the adjacent school.
The committee supported the designations as set out in the schedule of polling districts and polling places attached as appendix A to the report subject to the following proposal to aid voter convenience:
1. approve the schedule of polling districts and polling places set out in Appendix A to the report of the chief executive to the meeting of the Community Governance and Electoral Issues Committee on 26 January 2015 subject to the designation of Barnes Close Community Centre as an additional polling place for Didcot South;
2. recommend that Cabinet sets aside some of the community capital grants scheme to fund improvements to disabled access to buildings used as polling stations;
3. authorise the chief executive, acting in his capacity as the council’s returning officer, to make changes to polling districts and polling places where circumstances dictate that this is desirable, having first consulted with members of the committee and the local councillor(s).