Venue: Committee Room 2 - Parkside. View directions
Contact: Amanda Scarce
To receive apologies for absence and notification of substitutes
An apology for absence was received from Councillor L. C. R. Mallett.
Declarations of Interest
To invite Councillors to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Other Disclosable Interests they may have in items on the agenda, and to confirm the nature of those interests.
Councillor S. G. Hession declared an Other Disclosable Interest in respect of Agenda Item 4 - Polling Places Review (Minute No. 14/19, stating that, she was a Trustee of Wythall Community Association.
The minutes of the meeting of the Electoral Matters Committee held on 10th September 2019 were submitted.
Councillor M. Middleton asked for it to be noted that, during the meeting, Members considered all proposals for each Ward and that the ones listed warranted further discussion, and that if no changes were proposed, then no changes were agreed by the Committee.
RESOLVED that, subject to the comments as detailed in the pre-amble above, the minutes of the meeting of the Electoral Matters Committee held on 10th September be approved as a correct record.
The Electoral Services Manager introduced the report and reported that at the meeting held on 10th September 2019, Committee Members had considered, for all Wards, the results and the recommendations of officers and the Acting Returning Officer (ARO) to the initial consultation conducted.
Following on from that meeting and taking into account the decisions as agreed by the Committee, the final recommendations were opened for further consultation from 12th September to 7th October.
The Electoral Services Manager drew Members’ attention to page 9 of the main agenda report, which detailed the issues arising from the consultation on recommendations from 12th September to 7th October. Members were further informed that had been some minor changes since the agenda had been published, for which he would provide a verbal update.
Information on the following Wards was considered:
Cofton COA – The Parish Council had sent in a submission to inform the Committee that the new Parish Village Hall was now open. The Committee agreed with no change, as the existing village hall was pivotal to the community. Officers agreed to see how the new housing development progressed, in order to review and assess the future needs of Cofton Hackett. Therefore the Committee agreed with no change.
Rubery North RNA - Members were further informed that the District Councillor had supported the Polling Station being moved to Rubery Social Club. Therefore the Committee agreed that the Polling Station be moved to Rubery Social Club.
Rubery South RSA– Members were informed that the District Councillor had requested that this be reviewed with a view to moving the Polling Station to Rubery Social Club. Members considered the verbal update provided on behalf of the Ward Councillor that, all of the residents he had liaised with were quite happy with the current Polling Station at the Memorial Club and that parking was easier at the Memorial Club. Therefore Members agreed that the Polling Station be kept at the Memorial Club.
Slideslow SSA and SSB – The Electoral Services Manager reported that Aston Fields Middle school had stated that they were not interested in the school being used as a Polling Station. Members were further informed that following publication of the Electoral Matters Committee agenda, information had been received from the Head Teacher at Rigby Hall Special School stating that the offer to use the school as a Polling Station had been withdrawn.
In response to questions from Members with regard to possible alternative venues, the Electoral Services Manager and the Senior Electoral Services Officer explained that:
Portable buildings – these could be used for Polling Stations; however, these were significantly more expensive and often provided inadequate accommodation and accessibility for voters with disabilities.
Schools - Officers did not insist that schools used as Polling Stations had to close. It was at the discretion of the schools Head Teacher / Governors and their safeguarding policies.
As detailed at the meeting held on 10th September 2019, St. Godwolds Church Hall was already used as ... view the full minutes text for item 14/19