Manchester City Council

Agenda item

Agenda item

Statutory Review of Polling Districts and Polling Places: Draft Proposals

The report of the Chief Executive is enclosed.

Minutes:

A report from the Chief Executive was considered relating to a review of the polling districts and polling places arrangements in the city. The Council’s scheme operated for parliamentary, local elections and other polls making it a key part of the city’s governance arrangements. As required by the Electoral Administration and Registration Act 2013, compulsory reviews of parliamentary polling districts and polling places must take place every 5 years, reflecting the Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011. The Council undertook a compulsory review in the autumn of 2013, coming into effect in February 2014. An interim review of the city’s parliamentary and local polling districts and polling places was needed to take into consideration the city’s ward boundary changes, following an Electoral Review by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE). That took place in the autumn of 2017 and came into effect when the register was re-published on 1 February 2018. The Council’s next compulsory review was required to be within the 16 month period beginning on 1 October 2018, so had to conclude by 31 January 2020. In July 2019 The committee had authorised the initiation of the compulsory review of polling districts and polling places within the Council’s area, to begin on 15 July 2019, and delegated authority to the Chief Executive to undertake the review (Minute CN/19/17).

 

The report explained the timetable and process that had been used for the review. Revisions were being proposed in 16 of the city’s 32 wards, affecting all five of the parliamentary constituencies:

·         Harpurhey, Higher Blackley, and part of Deansgate in the Blackley and Broughton Constituency;

·         Part of Deansgate, Hulme, Miles Platting & Newton Heath, Piccadilly, and part Whalley Range in the Manchester Central Constituency;

·         Fallowfield, Levenshulme, Longsight, Rusholme, part of Whalley Range in the Manchester Gorton Constituency;

·         Chorlton Park, Didsbury East, Didsbury West in the Manchester Withington Constituency;

·         and Sharston, and Woodhouse Park in the Wythenshawe and Sale East Constituency.

 

Maps showing the proposed revised polling districts were included in the report for 14 of the 16 wards. The proposed changes in Fallowfield and Woodhouse Park were just changes to a Polling Place within one of the current Polling Districts, so no new map was needed for those two wards.

 

The report set out the justifications for all the changes being proposed on a ward by ward and a constituency basis. A schedule of the reasons is appended to these minutes.

 

As had been agreed by the Chair, a revised map for the Didsbury East ward (A34 Version) was considered under urgent business. It was explained that the boundary of the new polling district for 4DEJ was incorrect in the report. The proposed boundary should be taken along the A34 and not the railway line. A map and revised list of properties now included in 4DEJ streets was submitted, amending appendices 1 and 2 in the report.

 

Also at the meeting an update was given for Deansgate Ward regarding polling district boundaries for 2DGE and 2DGD where a polling place was needed. It was proposed that the INNSiDE Hotel on First Street be used as a polling place for 2DGE, which was just outside the boundary but would work well for electors.

 

At the meeting the implications on this review of the parliamentary general election being on 12 December were explained. The Council was required to publish the annual electoral register on 1 December 2019 but this could not now reflect the new scheme proposed in this review. That would require the Register to be re-published on 2 February 2020, so then reflecting the new scheme. That would allow the existing register, and polling districts to be used in the parliamentary general election. A number of re-designations of polling places have been required for the general election, those had been made using the Chief Executive’s delegated powers, given the short timescales for poll card data needed for that election. Any further re-designations required for the parliamentary general election would be dealt in the same way.

 

The committee supported the changes proposed in the review, including the revisions presented at the meeting.

 

Decisions

 

1.         To note the submissions made to the Council in respect of the review of polling districts and polling places for the City of Manchester.

 

2.         To note the proposals in respect of the review.

 

3.         To recommend to the Council the adoption of parliamentary polling districts and parliamentary polling places as set out in the scheme contained in Appendix 1 and in the maps found at Appendix 2, replacing the Didsbury East map with the revision that was submitted at the meeting.

 

4.         To recommend to the Council the approval of the reasons given in the report for the in respect of the designation of parliamentary polling districts and parliamentary polling places.

 

5.         To recommend to the Council that the scheme contained in Appendix 1 be adopted in relation to both Parliamentary and Local government elections, including the revision to the scheme that were introduced at the meeting in relation to Didsbury East ward.

 

6.         To recommend to the Council that the Chief Executive is requested to publish such notices and other documentation required by law on completion of the review.

 

7.         To recommend that the Council requests that the Electoral Registration Officer makes the necessary amendments to polling districts for the publication of the revised Electoral Register, noting that one of the implications of the Parliamentary General Election on 12 December was that the new Register would need to be published on 2 February 2020, to reflect the new scheme.

 

8.         To recommend to the Council that authority continues to be delegated to the Chief Executive to make, where necessary, alterations to the designation of any polling place prior to the next full review in consultation with ward councillors, group leaders and the Chair of Constitutional and Nomination Committee.

 


 

Schedule of Reasons for Changes

 

Blackley & Broughton Constituency

 

Harpurhey

 

·                     To create a new Polling District 1HAL from the properties at the bottom of 1HAH south of Fitzgeorge Street. The new polling district will have approx. 438 electors. The remaining properties in polling district 1HAH will have 591 electors. Electors in 1HAH will continue to vote at Saviour Church, it is proposed that electors in the new polling district 1HAL will vote at the Community Room in Roach Court. This new location is more central to the electors in the new polling district than their current polling arrangements and better takes into account the geography of the area. Currently electors south of Fitzgeorge Street have a long walk up Rochdale Road to vote at Saviour Church which is at the opposite end of the current polling district. 

 

Higher Blackley

 

·                     Electors in 1HBF will vote at Redeemed Christian Church of God Strong Tower Miracle Arena. It is proposed that the 1HBF polling district is redrawn so that this polling place comes within its boundary. Properties south of Poolton Road along Crab Lane (affecting approx. 66 electors who presently reside in 1HBE) will be moved into 1HBF. This change will allow voters in 1HBF to have a permanent location for their polling place instead of the Temporary Building on Riverdale Road, given the site on which it has been located is no longer available. The electors remaining in 1HBE will continue to vote at St Andrew’s Hall.

 

Deansgate (1DGA)

 

·                     Whilst it is recognised that the current polling place (Park Inn) is not ideally located for all electors in this polling district, it has not been possible to identify an alternative. This situation will be kept under review in the future due to ongoing development in the area. The boundaries of this polling district cannot be changed as it falls within the Blackley and Broughton constituency unlike the rest of Deansgate ward.

 

·                     Electors will continue to vote at Park Inn.

 

 

Manchester Central Constituency

 

Deansgate

 

·                     To create a new Polling District 2DGF from part of 2DGB. This polling district will take in properties to the east of Oxford Road to accommodate future growth in this area. There are currently approx. 549 electors in these properties. The predicted growth of electors over the next 3 years for this polling district would increase the electorate to approx. 2119. In the remaining properties in 2DGB there will be approx. 1344 electors, with a projected growth to approx.1800. Electors in the existing 2DGB currently vote at Anthony Burgess Foundation and it is proposed that electors in both polling districts will continue to vote here until the electorate increases in the new polling districts (2DGF) has grown to a level which will justify it having its own polling place.

 

·                     To create a new polling district 2DGE from part of 2DGD. This new polling district would be formed from properties to the east of Chester Road / Bridgewater Viaduct and take in the large new Deansgate Square development. The new polling district 2DGE will have approx. 1717 electors with a projected growth to approx. 4200 electors. The INNSiDE Hotel has been identified as the best polling place.

 

·                     The remaining properties in 2DGD will have approx. 1526 electors. Electors will continue to vote at Castlefield Hotel.

 

Hulme

 

·                     It is proposed that two new polling districts are created in part of the existing 2HUA, north of Chester Road, due to the significant growth expected in this area over the next 3 years. A new polling district 2HUF will contain properties west of Hulme Road and will have approx. 968 electors with a projected growth of approx. 1785 electors. A second new polling district 2HUG will contain properties to the east of Hulme Road and will have approx. 1493 electors with a projected growth of approx. 2853. It is proposed that electors from both 2HUF and 2HUG will vote at Urban Splash Offices in Timber Wharf which is located within 2HUG. In the future a dedicated polling place is likely to be required in 2HUF as the electorate size increases over time.

 

Miles Platting & Newton Heath

 

·                     To create a new polling district 2MNJ from part of the existing 2MNF polling district to take in properties north of Briscoe Lane and part of the existing 2MND polling district to take in properties west of Old Church Street. This polling district will have approx. 835 electors with some small electorate growth also predicted in the future. It is proposed that electors will vote at the Yes Building. This is an Adult Education building well known to the local community and it is located centrally within the main residential area of this proposed polling district.

 

·                     The boundary for 2MNF will change on its western border with 2MNG and will take in the properties south of Briscoe Lane and north of Riverpark Road where the abattoir is situated. 2MNF will have approx. 2356 electors and electors will continue to vote at The Stirling Centre.

 

Piccadilly

 

·                     To accommodate the significant growth expected in this area over the next three years, it is proposed that 2PYB is split. Properties west of London Road will remain in 2PYB and will continue to vote at polling place Manchester College, Shena Simon Campus, as there are no other suitable premises available in this polling district. This polling district will have approx. 1653 electors with a projected growth to approx. 3600. The remaining properties in the existing 2PYB to the east of London Road as well as properties in 2PYD east of Rochdale canal will become 2PYF with approx. 464 electors, but with a projected growth to approx. 2000 electors. It is proposed that electors in 2PYF will continue to vote at Shena Simon Campus until the elector increase in the new polling district has grown to a level which will justify it having its own polling place.

 

·                     To accommodate the significant growth expected it is proposed 2PYC is split, properties to the east of Rochdale Road will remain in 2PYC with approx. 237 electors and a projected growth to approx. 3100 electors. Properties to the west of Rochdale Road will form 2PYE with 1272 electors. Electors in 2PYC currently vote at Abbott Primary School, but it is proposed that they will vote at the Marriott Hotel on Mason Street. Moving to this new polling station will allow electors to vote at a polling place in a more convenient location for electors, nearer to the city centre.

 

Whalley Range - 2WRF

 

·                     Significant development is currently taking place on the old Stagecoach depot on Princess Road. It is expected that a new polling place for this polling district will be required once it is completed due to the increase in electorate. A community hub is planned as part of the new site which is likely to be able to accommodate a polling place within in it.

 

 

Manchester Gorton Constituency

 

Fallowfield

 

           Electors in 3FAA will vote at The Place (Fallowfield Community Library). Electors currently vote at Wilbraham Primary School. Due to the large campus at this site there has historically been voter confusion regarding which entrance to use. The Place, which is located next to Wilbraham Primary School, will provide a more suitable and easily accessible premises.

 

·                     Electors in 3FAD will vote at Owens Park. Electors currently vote at The Armitage Centre but negative elector feedback has been received regarding the distance from the road. It is therefore proposed that this polling place is moved to Owens Park, which is more conveniently located for electors and which is already a polling place for 3FAE.

 

Levenshulme

 

           Electors in 3LEA will vote at Arcadia Library and Leisure Centre. Electors currently vote at The Klondyke but since the Local Government Boundary Commission for England’s Electoral Review this polling place is now located within the Burnage ward, and already used by another polling district. Due to high turnout in the area, it is necessary for them to use different premises going forwards. Arcadia Library and Leisure Centre is located within the correct polling district, has good access and is well known to the local community.

 

           Electors in polling districts 3LEC and 3LEE will merge and be renamed as 3LEC and vote at the new polling place St Mary of the Angels and St Clare Parish Centre, Elbow Street. 3LEE currently has approx. 230 electors and 3LEC has approx. 1611. Electors in 3LEE currently vote at Alma Park School but this will no longer be available for future elections. Electors in 3LEC currently vote at Levenshulme Baptist Church, Elmsworth Avenue, but it is considered that St Mary of the Angels and St Clare Parish Centre is more central for electors of the new merged polling district.

 

·                     Polling district 3LEH will be renamed to 3LEE for sequential naming purposes only

 

Longsight

 

           That current polling district 3LOE is split.  Electors in 3LOE currently vote at Belle Vue Leisure Centre. It is proposed that electors above Kirkmanshulme Lane will be the new polling district 3LOJ and will continue to vote at Belle Vue Leisure Centre. There will be approx. 608 electors in this new polling district, but future development on this site is expected.  Properties south of Kirkmanshulme Lane and on Mount Road will continue to be in 3LOE with approx. 1731 electors.  It is proposed electors in the revised 3LOE will vote at Gorton South Surestart Centre which is central to the properties in 3LOE and is more conveniently located for electors. The new polling district 3LOE will also take in properties from 3LOG above East Road and Thompson Road.

 

           The remaining part of 3LOG is further split with properties in the lower right of the polling district with Wembley Road and Hamilton Road forming the border and becoming 3LOH. It is proposed that electors within this new polling district will vote at Rushbrook Primary Academy which is conveniently located for electors in this part of the polling district. It is proposed that electors in the original part of the polling district 3LOG will vote at The Grange School after Gorton Primary School became unavailable this year. 3LOG will have approx. 1165 electors and 3LOH will have approx. 1459 electors.

 

Rushlome

 

·                     After reviewing the operation and location of this polling place at Hulme Hall, Oxford Place (3RUC) which was used for the local elections and European Parliamentary Elections in May, it is considered that Xaverian College, Lower Park Road, would be a more suitable location for the polling place within the polling district and is well known by the electorate.

 

·                     The current polling district 3RUB is split to make a new polling district 3RUG to incorporate the Unsworth Park (a Manchester University student accommodation development). The boundary of the new 3RUG being from the rear of properties on Birchfield Road to the north of the Pavilion on the playing fields west across the playing field to Whitworth Lane and following the southern edge of the ward boundary. The polling place for this new polling district would be Owens Park which will be easily accessible to electors living in the Unsworth Park development. There will be 1120 properties which will be occupied by University Students in this new polling district. After full occupation of the development it is expected that there will be an electorate of at least 2000. The remainder of the existing polling district 3RUB will have approx. 1424 electors. They will continue to vote at Birchfields Primary School.

 

Whalley Range:

 

           For 3WRA the eastern boundary is changed so that the properties on the eastern side of Wood Road are included in 3WRA from 3WRB. While electors north of Russell Road on Dudley Road are moved into 3WRB. 3WRA will have approx. 1674 electors.

 

           For 3WRB, as well as the changes highlighted above, the eastern boundary of 3WRB is extended to include all of the properties on Stanley Road, Wellington Road, Mayfield Road, Range Road, Deepark Road and Acron Drive, as well as all of Alexandra Park which were previously in 3WRD. On the western side of the ward electors in Churchill Avenue, Blenheim Avenue and the north section of Bedford Avenue are moved into 3WRE. 3WRB will have approx. 3098 electors.

 

           For 3WRC the northern boundary is to become Wilbraham Road, electors north of Wilbraham Road who were previously in 3WRC will move into 3WRD. 3WRC will have approx. 1181 electors.

 

All these proposals will assist in improving elector accessibility to polling places.

 

 

Manchester Withington Constituency

 

Chorlton Park

 

           The 2 properties in Southern Cemetery which are currently in 4CPA, are moved in 4CPB to allow the electors within these properties to vote at a polling station more conveniently located.  This will move approx. 3 electors from 4CPA to 4CPB voting at Barlow Hall Primary School.

 

Didsbury East

 

           For both 4DEE and 4DEF the polling districts are split to the east of the railway track with the properties to the east of the railway track to be combined into a new polling district 4DEJ, but with the boundary of 4DJE being the A34 and not the railway line (amendment made at the meeting). It is proposed that electors in this new polling district will vote at Parrs Wood High School which is located within the polling district. This is more easily accessible to electors to the east side of the railway line, and is well known to the local community. 4DEJ will have approx. 1259 electors, 4DEE will have approx. 1111 electors and 4DEF will have approx. 882 electors.

 

Didsbury West

 

·                     The polling district boundary line between 4DWB and 4DWF is redrawn so that 4DWB takes in the properties south of Nell Lane and all of Northern Grove.  Electors in 4DWB will continue to vote at Fielden Campus and have approx. 1870 electors. 4DWF will gain a section of properties on Burton Road north of Nell Lane and electors will vote continue to vote at Cavendish Primary School. 4DWF will have approx. 2372 electors. These changes mean that electors in the areas where changes have been made will be voting at a polling place which is more conveniently located than where they currently vote.

 

·                     A number of representations have been received relating to the use of Cavendish Primary School. Whilst it has not been possible to identify an alternative premises at this time, the Electoral Services Unit will continue to work with the school to find ways to minimise the impact of its use in the future.

 

·                     Representations have been made regarding the current configuration of 4DWA and 4DWD, with the aim of increasing elector convenience. However, it has not been possible to identify an alternative or additional polling places suitable for use at this time within the ward.

 

 

Wythenshawe and Sale East Constituency

 

Sharston

 

           5SHB is split down the middle of Brownley Road. Properties in the west of the polling district will remain in 5SHB and continue to vote at Manchester College, Wythenshawe Campus. Properties to the east of Brownley Road will form the new polling district 5SHH and it is proposed that electors will vote at Wythenshawe Community Church, which has previously used as a polling place before the Local Government Boundary Commission for England review.  Electors are familiar with the building and it is more conveniently located in the polling district.

 

           That polling district 5SHE boundary lines are redrawn and to bring in properties from 5SHC south of Glenby Avenue and Cadnam Drive. While properties to the west of Calve Croft Road will join 5SHF. These changes mean that electors in the areas where changes have been made will be voting at a polling place closer to where they currently vote. 5SHC will have approx. 1491 electors, 5SHE approx. 2359 electors and 5SHF approx. 964 electors.

 

Woodhouse Park

 

           That electors in polling district 5WPD vote at St Anthony’s RC Primary School due to the unavailability of St Anthony’s Parish Centre. Electors have voted at the school previously and is located a short walk from the Parish Centre.

 

 

Supporting documents: