Review of Polling Districts and Polling Places 2021

Closed 30 Nov 2021

Opened 2 Nov 2021

Overview

Background to the Review

Under the Representation of the People Act 1983, the council has a duty to divide its area into polling districts and to designate a polling place for each district for Parliamentary elections.  The arrangements made for parliamentary elections are also used at other elections and polls, and the council must keep the arrangements under review.

The Electoral Administration Act 2006 (as amended) introduced a duty on all local authorities in Great Britain to review their polling districts and polling places at least once every five years. 

Boundary changes

The Parliamentary Boundary Commission for England concluded its consultation on new review into parliamentary constituency boundaries on 3 August 2021. They are now preparing the feedback for publication and a secondary consultation period. This polling district and polling place review will proceed using the current parliamentary boundaries.

 

Electors will continue to be electors of their current polling district in the event of any local by-election occurring before 1 March 2022.  For elections taking place after this date, and following approval of the new polling district scheme, the new polling districts will be used.

Neither the ward boundaries, nor the parliamentary constituency boundaries, can be changed as part of the council’s review of polling districts and polling places, as they are the responsibility of the relevant Boundary Commission.

Definitions

“Polling districts” are geographical electoral areas into which wards and constituencies may be sub-divided.  In areas with parishes, each parish should be its own polling district.

“Polling places” are the buildings or areas designated by the council where electors in a polling district go to vote in person. 

The polling place should in normal circumstances be situated within the polling district for which it is designated, but in some circumstances, for example where no suitable polling place can be found, then the polling place may be designated outside the polling district.  In some cases this may mean that more than one polling district is served by the same polling place.

“Polling stations” are the number of issuing desks in the building that is the designated polling place, which generally range from one to three.  The Returning Officer determines the number of polling stations depending on the electorate at a particular election.  Wherever possible there should be no more than 2,500 electors (excluding postal voters) allotted to a polling station. 

 

Why your views matter

The Review Process

A preliminary review has been undertaken by council officers to inform the proposals. Representations of the (Acting) Returning Officer have been included in this consultation paper. The council invites comments on these proposals.

The main issues considered in the development of the proposals were:

  1. To try and identify new polling places in areas where the existing provision is unsuitable or unavailable.
  2. To consider, as appropriate, feedback received following recent elections raised by members of the public, elected members and other stakeholders.
  3. To ensure, as far as practicable, that any new polling places are accessible to people with disabilities.
  4. To ensure that all electors have such reasonable facilities for voting as are practicable in the circumstances.
  5. To try to minimise disruption to schools.  It should be noted that the (Acting) Returning Officer is entitled to use schools and academies free of charge. However, where alternative premises exist which can provide better facilities for voting, they may be considered.

The council is required to publish a notice of the holding of a review.  Information about the review is made available on the council’s website.  The consultation paper will be sent to councillors, Members of Parliament, local political parties, parish councils, and any other interested groups or persons, including those who have particular expertise in relation to access to premises or facilities for persons who have different forms of disability.

The Review Timetable

Publication of notice of review

 2 November 2021

Publication of consultation paper including (Acting) Returning Officer’s proposals

 2 November 2021

Closing date for representations

 30 November 2021

Council meeting – ratification of polling district and polling changes

 12 January 2022

Publication of Electoral Register on new wards and polling district boundaries

 1 March 2022

Sheffield City Council Elections and Police and Crime Commissioner elections

 Thursday 5 May 2022

Completion of review

The council will publish:

  • The results of the review
  • The minutes of council meetings concerning the review
  • All correspondence received in connection with the review
  • All representations made by any person in connection with the review

Role of the Electoral Commission

The council will follow guidance issued by the Electoral Commission in undertaking the review.

Although the Electoral Commission has no role in the review process itself, it can consider comments if people do not think that the review has met the reasonable requirements of electors or taken sufficient account of the needs of disabled electors. 

The following people can make representations to the Electoral Commission:

  • 30 or more registered electors
  • any person who made comments during the review
  • any parish council or parish meeting for the area
  • any non-elector who the Commission feels has sufficient interest in the accessibility of disabled persons

The Electoral Commission has the ability to direct the council to make alterations to polling places if it thinks that is necessary.

 
 

The following survey includes the proposals separated by ward, however if you would like to view the full proposals for all areas these are available at https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/home/your-city-council/polling-station-review in a PDF format. 

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Anyone from any background

Interests

  • Elections and Voter Registration