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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: The Kennet Room - County Hall, Trowbridge BA14 8JN. View directions

Contact: Kieran Elliott  01225 718504, Email: kieran.elliott@wiltshire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

57.

Apologies

To receive any apologies or substitutions for the meeting

Minutes:

There were no apologies.

58.

Minutes

To approve the minutes of the meetings held on 2 October 2018 and 8 October 2018.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings held on 2 October and 8 October 2018 were presented for consideration and it was,

 

Resolved:

 

To approve and sign the minutes as a true and correct record.

59.

Declarations

To receive any declarations of disclosable interests or dispensations granted by the Standards Committee.

Minutes:

There were no declarations.

60.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements through the Chair

Minutes:

There were no announcements.

61.

Public Participation

Statements

 

If you would like to make a statement at this meeting on any item on this agenda, please register to do so at least 10 minutes prior to the meeting. Up to 3 speakers are permitted to speak for up to 3 minutes each on any agenda item.

 

Please contact the officer named on the front of the agenda for any further clarification.

 

Questions

 

To receive any questions from members of the public or members of the Council received in accordance with the constitution.

 

Those wishing to ask questions are required to give notice of any such questions in writing to the officer named on the front of this agenda no later than 5pm on 11 December 2018 in order to be guaranteed of a written response. In order to receive a verbal response questions must be submitted no later than 5pm on 13 December 2018. Please contact the officer named on the front of this agenda for further advice. Questions may be asked without notice if the Chairman decides that the matter is urgent.

 

Details of any questions received will be circulated to Committee members prior to the meeting and made available at the meeting and on the Council’s website.

Minutes:

There were no questions or statements submitted.

62.

Polling District and Polling Place Review

To receive an update on the forthcoming review of polling districts and polling places.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman introduced the item, and a presentation was received from Maggie Mulhall, Electoral Services, setting out the key elements and definitions of the Polling District and Place Review. The Chairman noted that the process would be technical and officer led.

 

Points raised included: the review was due by 31 January 2020, the review was only concerned with current boundaries as these were operational up to 2021, a Polling District was a geographic space within an electoral area, a Polling Place was a building that housed polling stations, a Polling Station was where voting took place, not all Polling Districts had Polling Stations, the purpose of the Polling District and Place Review was to make voting facilities reasonably practical and ensured they were Disability Discrimination Act compliant, and that the initial stage of the review was to run to May 2019 whilst the formal stage was to run to December 2019.

 

The Committee then discussed the forthcoming review, noting that one purpose of the Polling District and Place Review was to ensure compliance with Disability Discrimination legislation and a strong emphasis upon compliance was a distinguishing aspect of the next review.  Conducting Polling District and Place Reviews following elections to Council was described as best practice by the Returning Officer.

 

The debate moved on to address practical questions of how the process could be streamlined, what information would be gathered and what the nature of consultation would be in this context.

 

Officers clarified that the formal stage that was to run to December 2019 ought to be less onerous than the initial stage that was to run to May 2019 and that these two separate processes were both required by statute.  

 

The information sought from the consultation would be feedback from identified stakeholders.  Key stakeholders would have an interest in access and disability and would have local knowledge of accessibility and how it is perceived locally.   Stakeholders identified at this early stage were; Area Boards, disability groups and local political groupings.  

 

The consultation would use the Authority’s communications function and the consultation website, but would also be more loosely structured to capture local knowledge of individuals, potential venues, locations, access and transport.   Site visits could form part of the information gathering exercise.  The Committee was reminded that representations to the review would need to have a transparent audit trail. 

 

Local knowledge was agreed to be critical to ensuring an acceptable balance of accessibility with travel requirements. It was stated that anomalies such as voters being required to travel past one polling station to vote at another would be minimised.

 

The engagement of Area Boards was felt to be key and Area Board Chairs would be encouraged to make the Polling District and Place Review subject of a Chairman’s Announcement at their next meeting. A Councillor’s Briefing Note would be written and circulated to all elected members. Community Engagement Managers would be canvased on potential stakeholders to consult, and parish clerks would be provided with all relevant information.  

 

It was also  ...  view the full minutes text for item 62.

63.

Electoral Review- naming divisions

Minutes:

An additional item was agreed for the Chairman to update the Committee on the Electoral Review. Following receipt of the council’s submission representatives of the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) had visited the area and were due to report on their findings on 5 February 2019.

 

The naming of divisions was identified as outstanding work for the Electoral Committee from the Electoral Review. Once draft recommendations from the LGBCE had been published the deadline for further submissions would be 5 April 2019.

 

A workshop for the Committee had been arranged for 7 February 2019 with a public meeting on 12 February 2019. These dates would allow recommendations from Committee on how to respond to draft recommendations to be taken to Council on 26 February 2019.

 

Should division names or other matters not be resolved at Council on 26 February 2019, it was stated this would necessitate an extraordinary Council meeting to ensure the deadline for submission was met.

 

Resolved:

 

To approve the approach and timetable for the naming of divisions.

 

64.

Urgent Items

Any other items of business, which the Chairman agrees to consider as a matter of urgency

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

 

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