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Agenda and minutes

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

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

Items
No. Item

9.

Apologies

To receive any apologies or substitutions for the meeting.

Minutes:

There were no apologies.

10.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 23 July 2019.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 23 July 2019 were presented for consideration and it was,

 

Resolved:

 

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

11.

Declarations of Interest

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

Minutes:

There were no declarations.

12.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements through the Chair.

Minutes:

There were no announcements.

13.

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 3speakers 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 19 September 2019 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 23 September 2019. 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.

14.

Electoral Review of Wiltshire Council

To note the outcome of the Electoral Review of Wiltshire Council, following the publication of the Final Recommendations of the Local Government Boundary Commission for England on 1 October 2019.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Following receipt of final representations during a further limited consultaton, the Local Government Boundary Commission for England had published its Final Recommendations for new Unitary Divisions for Wiltshire Council. These would be laid before Parliament and come into effect at the next elections in May 2021, along with consequential changes to many town and parish boundaries.

 

The Chairman noted the outcome of the Final Recommendations, which had accepted the council’s submissions in respect of some areas, but retained what the council considered to be suboptimal divisions in others, particularly relating to the splitting of Idmiston between two divisions, however noted that the process was not at its end.

 

The Chairman thanked all the Committee and its supporting officers for the huge amount of work that had gone into preparing the various submissions the council had made over the course of the electoral review, and noted the conclusion of the process.

15.

Polling District and Polling Place Review 2019

To receive a report and recommendation to Full Council on the Polling District and Polling Place Review.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

At its meeting on 8 July 2019 the Committee received a report on the outcome of a preliminary review on polling districts and polling places which was required to be completed by 1 January 2020, and resolved to publish a notice of the holding of a review, the representation of the Acting Returning Officer(ARO), and launch a public consultation on that information. That consultation ran from 12 July 2019 to 9 September 2019 and included communication with key stakeholders.

 

74 responses were received during the consultation, including 19 in relation to the use of Redland School as a polling station. It was reported that due to the impact of the Electoral Review of Wiltshire Council by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England, which would significanly impact many polling districts and any solutions to concerns raised during the consultation, it was proposed there be minimal alternations to current arranegments, as there would be a further review in 2020.

 

The Committee considered the report, which recommended 5 issues be reviewed during the 2020 review as a result of unitary changes, 9 changes to a different established pollnig venue, and 8 changes to designate a polling place as the polling district, and for the ARO to investigate suitability and availability of alternatives and consider the cost and sites for temporary polling stations. It was noted that in event of an unscheduled election, such sites as could be available at short notice might have to be used even if planned to be adjusted in future.

 

The Committee also noted a few specific areas where it felt further work should be undertaken to identify suitable alternative venues, such as in the east of Melksham where electors presently must travel a long distance, past other stations, to reach allocated stations. It was also confirmed the 2020 review, and changes to districts as a result of unitary changes, would enable elimination of anomalous polling districts.

 

At the conclusion of discussion, it was,

 

Resolved:

 

To agree the draft recommendations as set out in the appendices and recommend approval by Full Council at its next meeting.

16.

Date of the Next Meeting and Future Work Programme

To confirm the date of the next meeting as 31 October 2019.

 

To consider future work to be undertaken by the Committee (Report to follow).

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report setting a proposed forward work programme for the next several years, taking into account the confirmation by Full Council that it be a standing committee as part of the council’s governance arrangements. It was proposed that the Committee receive reports and make recommendations or decisions in relation to Electoral Services matters, and that a schedule of work be undertaken for long term review of parish governance arrangements, as well as monitoring variance of Unitary Divisions to prevent the need for a whole council review if possible in the future.

 

It was also proposed that Polling District and Polling Place Review decisions be delegated to the Committee, as these were a highly technical process and could be undertaken on an annual basis. All unitary members would be kept informed of any review or proposed decisions.

 

The date of the next meeting was also confirmed as 31 October 2019.

 

At the conclusion of discussion, it was,

 

Resolved:

 

To approve the initial Forward Work Programme of the Electoral Review Committee detailed at Appendix B; and,

 

To recommend Full Council amend the Terms of Reference of the Electoral Review Committee to the following:

 

2.10.11 To make decisions in respect of proposed Polling District and Polling Places Reviews.

 

2.10.12 To receive reports in relation to the operation and delivery of Electoral Services, and make recommendations or decisions as appropriate on Electoral matters not reserved to Full Council.

17.

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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