Agenda and minutes

Electoral Matters Committee - Thursday 3rd September 2020 6.00 p.m.

Venue: Virtual Meeting - Skype - Virtual. View directions

Contact: Amanda Scarce 


No. Item




Apologies for absence were received from Councillors M. Glass and S. Hession.



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.


There were no declarations of interest on this occasion.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 206 KB


The Minutes of the meeting of the electoral Matters Committee held on 27th February 2020 were submitted.


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetingof the Electoral Matters Committee held on 27th February 2020 be approved as a correct record.



Polling Place Alteration 2020 pdf icon PDF 167 KB


The Electoral Services Manager introduced the Polling Place Alteration Report for 2020 and explained that this was a follow on from the report received at the February 2020 meeting, when it was agreed to use the Westmead Hotel for the PCC elections, which due to Covid-19 had not in fact taken place.  It had been agreed at that meeting that the polling place would be reviewed once that election had taken place and the Village Hall had put the new disabled access in place.  This had now been completed and officers had inspected the site and were quite happy with the access.  The District councillor, Councillor C. Hotham was in support of the polling place returning to the Village Hall.  Alvechurch Parish Council had also sent a letter in support of the return to the Village Hall.  When polling places are reviewed the Acting Returning Officer has to be asked for their comments and he raised no objections to the change of the polling place back to the Village Hall.  One of the areas mentioned when visiting the polling place was that the Council would like a guarantee that the Village Hall could be used as a polling place at short notice as previously there had been booking problems in respect of not enough notice being given.  Officers would also like to be able to request that the Village Hall be opened up and closed on polling day and during delivery as currently the presiding officer has to collect the keys from nearby.


Members asked whether the Village Hall had indicated whether they were happy with the recommendations and officers advised that this had not been received as yet.  Officers confirmed that the addition of the opening and closing of the Village Hall and use at short notice, would be a useful addition to the agreement made with them.


RESOLVED that Hopwood Village Hall be the agreed polling place for BHA subject to agreement that the Village Hall be made available at short notice and is opened and closed by a Village Hall key holder on Polling Day.




Community Governance Review for a proposed new parish within the Current Stoke Parish Area pdf icon PDF 138 KB

Additional documents:


The Electoral Services Manager introduced the report in respect of a Community Governance Review for a proposed new parish within the current Stoke Parish area.  It was noted that members of the community had raised a petition, part of the report was for Members to note and receive the petition and the Electoral Services Manager had the petition with him and showed this to the Members (via his online screen).  It was confirmed that it had been checked by officers to ensure those signing were valid electors, there were 228 signatures, 13 not on the register, 20 had not signed but 195 were valid, as the requirement was 187 the petition was therefore valid.  Once it is confirmed as a valid petition then a community governance review had to take place. Appendix 1 to the report had the draft terms of reference which Members needed to agree in order to proceed.  The review needed to be completed within one year of receiving the petition.  The report also asked for delegation to the Chief Executive, in consultation with Members of the Committee to make minor amendments to the terms of reference is necessary, this was mainly in regard to the time table, should these need to be revised at any stage. 


It was noted that following publication of the agenda the lead petitioner had emailed Electoral Services querying one of the parts of the terms of reference (page 16 of the agenda pack and page 3 of the terms of reference).  He was unhappy with the reference to “….. the potential splitting of the existing parish, it is important that all residents have the opportunity to respond. The document will initially outline the implications of splitting the parish, and ask residents for their views. It will be delivered to every address in the parish, and include a form to return …..”  The lead petitioner had three points to make:


·       The proposed remaining residents of Stoke Parish may realise that they will be expected to pay more per household for the same level of amenities, this could influence their opinion and be detrimental to the residents of Stoke Heath.  This had been discussed at officer level and with the Legal team and it was felt that the whole parish should be consulted as they did have an interest as assets would be changing hands. There was some sympathy in respect of this and it would be dependant on how the consultation document would be worded.  It was suggested that an additional recommendation be added that suggested a short additional meeting of the Committee was held once the consultation documents was ready in order for Members to agree that document, before commencement.  It was confirmed that the guidance was clear that it should not be based on financial issues, but the betterment of parish residents.

·       The second point was in respect of Stoke Parish being formed by adding the then Stoke Heath Ward, at that time only the residents of Stoke Heath were  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5/2020