Agenda and draft minutes

Community Governance and Electoral Issues Committee
Monday, 26 November 2018 6.30 pm

Venue: Meeting Room 1, 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, Milton, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 4SB

Contact: Steven Corrigan, Democratic Services Manager  Email: steven.corrigan@southandvale.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

48.

Apologies for absence

To record apologies for absence and the attendance of substitute members. 

Minutes:

None.

49.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 97 KB

To adopt and sign as a correct record the Community Governance and Electoral Issues Committee minutes of the meeting held on 8 October 2018 - attached.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 8 October 2018 as a correct record and agree that the Chairman signs them as such.

50.

Declarations of interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests in respect of items on the agenda for this meeting. 

Minutes:

None.

51.

Urgent business and chairman's announcements

To receive notification of any matters which the chairman determines should be considered as urgent business and the special circumstances which have made the matters urgent, and to receive any announcements from the chairman.  

Minutes:

None.

52.

Public participation

To receive any questions or statements from members of the public that have registered to speak. 

Minutes:

Councillor Emily Smith addressed the committee.

 

She spoke in support of the need for a designated polling place in polling district SAC2 (Harwell East) to serve the electorate in the Great Western Park development and requested that Harwell Parish Council is consulted on any venue. 

 

She also stressed the need for a designated polling place in polling districts SSB1 and SSB2 (Segsbury ward of Wantage parish). She referred to anecdotal information that residents in this area had not voted in the recent Wantage and Grove County Division by election due to the distance needed to travel to The Beacon which was designated as a temporary polling place.

 

She also sought clarification regarding the recent changes to the boundary of Abingdon and neighbouring parishes and specifically where electors would vote if the parish and district ward boundaries were not coterminous (see minute 54).

 

Sarah Medley, a Harwell resident and Harwell parish councillor, addressed the committee on the need for a designated polling place in Harwell East to ensure the local electorate had a convenient location to vote (currently required to travel to Harwell village). She provided details of a possible location – Boundary Park Pavilion.  

53.

Interim Review of Polling Districts and Polling Places pdf icon PDF 124 KB

To consider the report of the head of legal and democratic on proposals for polling districts and polling places following an interim review – report attached.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The committee considered the report of the head of legal and democratic on proposals for polling districts and polling places following an interim review in preparation for the May 2019 district and parish elections.

 

The committee considered the views expressed by Councillor Smith and Sarah Medley. In respect of polling districts SSB1 and SSB2, the committee agreed that officers should investigate the possible use of either King Alfred’s School (west site) or Stockham Primary School. The committee noted the suggestion made by Sarah Medley in respect of Harwell East and requested officers investigate the suitability of the Boundary Park Pavilion as a polling place.

 

The committee further agreed that the final decision on the above matters should be made in consultation with committee members, the relevant local ward councillors and relevant parish council.

 
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 above ongoing matters.

 

 

RESOLVED: to

1.    approve the schedule of polling districts and polling places set out in Appendix A to the report of the head of legal and democratic to the meeting of the Community Governance and Electoral Issues Committee on 26 November 2018 subject to 2 below;

2.    authorise the returning officer, in consultation with committee members, relevant ward councillors and the relevant parish council, to allocate an appropriate polling place for polling districts SAC2 (Harwell East), SSB1 and SSB2 (Segsbury ward of Wantage parish).

 

54.

Request for related alterations - Community Governance Review of Vale of White Horse

To receive a verbal update on requests made to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England to make changes to the boundaries of district wards and county divisions to reflect changes made at parish level following the community governance reviews completed in 2017 and 2018 and implemented on 1 November 2018 under the Vale of White Horse District Council (Reorganisation of Community Governance) Order 2018.

 

Minutes:

The committee received a verbal update on the outcome of requests made to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) to make changes to the boundaries of district wards and county divisions to reflect changes made at parish level following the community governance reviews completed in 2017 and 2018 and implemented on 1 November 2018 under the Vale of White Horse District Council (Reorganisation of Community Governance) Order 2018. Officers confirmed that at its meeting on 20 November the Commission had approved all the requests. The relevant Order will come into force for the May 2019 elections.

 

In response to the issue raised by Councillor Smith (see minute 52), officers confirmed that, due to the above, electors will now vote in the relevant Abingdon district and Abingdon parish ward.

 

The committee noted and welcomed the decision of the LGBCE which provided for coterminous district ward and parish boundaries for the benefit of the electorate.