Review of Polling Districts and Polling Places 2022

Closes 7 Oct 2022

Opened 1 Sep 2022

Overview

1. 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 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. Local authorities may carry out interim reviews of polling arrangements between the statutory reviews.

Following the last statutory review in 2021, comments were received regarding the arrangements in Ecclesall and Manor Castle wards, and the (Acting) Returning Officer and Sheffield City Council agreed these would be reviewed following the elections on 6 May 2022.

 

2. 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 December 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.

 

3. Definitions

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

“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

4. 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.

 

  1. To consider, as appropriate, feedback received following recent elections raised by members of the public, elected members and other stakeholders.

 

  1. To ensure, as far as practicable, that any new polling places are accessible to people with disabilities.

 

  1. To ensure that all electors have such reasonable facilities for voting as are practicable in the circumstances.

 

  1. 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.

 

5. Making comments

The council would welcome comments on the proposals.  We would encourage anyone making representations to suggest alternative polling districts or places to those proposed where appropriate, along with their reasons, so that they may be given full consideration. 

Anyone registered as an elector in the Sheffield Central or Sheffield Hallam, constituencies may make representations to the council.  Please note that all representations are required by law to be published. 

Representations will also be considered from persons who have particular expertise in relation to access to premises or facilities for person who have different forms of disability.

Any representations must be made in writing and must be received by Friday 30 September 2022. 

 

6. Review Timetable

Publication of notice of review 1st September 2022
Publication of consultation paper 1st September 2022
Closing date for representations 30th September 2022
Council meeting - ratification of polling district and polling changes 2nd November 2022
Publication of Electoral Register on new wards and polling district boundaries Thursday 1st December 2022
Sheffield City Council and Combined Authority Mayoral elections Thursday 4th May 2023

 

7. 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

 

 

8. 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.

If you would like to make comments on more than one Ward you will need to fill in this consultation for each Ward you wish to comment on alternatively, you can send comments on the proposals for more than one ward to electoralservices@sheffield.gov.uk

Follow this link to view a zoomable map of the proposals, please copy and paste this link into a new window.

https://sheffieldcc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=3efd445de3584ddb9d2f2eab4ab93765

Review the proposals and give us your views

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Residents

Interests

  • Elections and Voter Registration