Polling Stations in Copeland
Copeland Council has, as required by the Electoral Commission, been conducting a review of polling stations. I have been one of the three councillors on a "Task and Finish Group" which was part of that review.
The main issue has been with disabled access - a horrifyingly high proportion of polling stations were not DDA compliant (E.g. they did not meet the standards laid down in the Disability Discrimination Act). Mostly these were the ones in private houses but there were some public buildings which were not offering disabled people the service they should. We had a very constructive meeting earlier this month with the Copeland Disability Forum and the South Copeland group to discuss some of their areas of concern about this.
However we have also been looking at areas in both urban and rural parst of Copeland - the Sunny Hill area, for instance - where the nearest polling station is not conveniently located.
Our recommendations have now gone to the officers who manage this area and are looking at whether they can be implemented.
I would expect to see that there may be a significant number of polling stations moved from this May's elections in an attempt to locate them in more suitable locations which are easier for both able-bodied and disabled voters to get to.
So check your polling card carefully before the May elections.
I will post an update here when the final decisions are made.