The report of the Chief Executive is attached.
The Leader and Portfolio Holder for Strategic and Borough-wide Leadership, Councillor Robinson presented the report of the Chief Executive, outlining proposals for revised polling districts and polling places, following an interim periodic review requested by the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013.
The Leader advised that the key objective of this review was to ensure that all electors had full access to facilities to vote and confirmed that the proposals had gone out to public consultation, and the responses received from a variety of people and groups were detailed in Appendix 1 of the report, with the proposed revised Schedule in Appendix 2.
The Leader drew Council’s attention to a query relating to Normanton-on-the Wolds, in terms of voting in Plumtree, and he advised that the Chief Executive had met with the Chairman of Normanton-on-the Wolds Parish Council, and it was hoped that a compromise has been found, which would go back to the Parish Council.
Councillor Edyvean seconded the recommendation and reserved the right to speak.
Councillor Begum thanked the Leader for welcoming her and stated that she would miss debating with him and wished everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Councillor Begum thanked officers for their hard work during this process and confirmed that the Labour Group welcomed the report.
Councillor Jones reiterated the comments made by the Mayor about the Rushcliffe Community Awards and the amazing people there, and also thanked officers for their hard work in organising such a successful event. He referred to the Leader’s announcement, and paid homage to his service as Leader.
In supporting the motion, Councillor Jones noted the considerable work undertaken by officers and stated that it was unlikely that the public realised the work involved, and thanked staff for their efforts. Councillor Jones did raise a concern that by introducing the requirement for photo ID, the Government was over-complicating the process, when there was no evidence of fraud taking place.
Councillor S Mallender stated that she would be sorry to see the Leader step down and hoped that future debates would continue to be as interesting. In supporting the motion, she reiterated the thanks given to officers and noted that the comments related to her ward had been considered to ensure that it was as easy possible for people to vote. Councillor Mallender referred to the importance of encouraging people to vote and agreed with the comments made by Councillor Jones regarding the introduction of photo ID for almost non-existent cases of fraud.
Councillor Thomas confirmed that the Leake Independent Group would be supporting the motion.
Councillor Edyvean advised that he had nothing further to add.
The Leader thanked Group Leaders for their comments and support and reiterated the thanks to staff for the incredible amount of work undertaken and referred to the considerable effort required not just on election day itself, but during the preparation, and referred to the fundamental importance of ensuing that everyone was able to vote.
It was RESOLVED that:
a) Council approves the:
(i) proposals setting out changes to polling districts, polling places and polling stations; and
(ii) revised schedule of polling districts and polling places as set out in Appendix 2;
b) Council requests the Chief Executive to formally publish the notice of the conclusion of the review and its findings; and
c) the (Acting) Returning Officer be given authority to select an appropriate alternative polling place (if required). Formal retrospective approval be sought by Council following the election if appropriate.