Saturday 23 January 2016

Schools present Polling Station headache

Time was when voters took for granted that their polling station would be the local school or church hall. A report going to the General Purposes Committee shows that things are no longer as straightforward. The North West London Jewish School had declined its use as a polling station last year citing security concerns. Report to General Purposes Commitee LINK

Now the  Lycee Winston Churchill at the former Brent Town Hall has set unacceptabel conditions and the Ark Franklyn Primary School has declined. I wonder if in the latter case it could be argued that the school is thereby not support 'British Values' regarding democracy?

.        Barnhill Ward: Polling district NBA4 - Huts near the former Town Hall site The former Brent Town Hall was long used as a polling place for electors in polling district NBA4 in Barnhill ward. During construction of the Winston Churchill Lycée on the site, the polling place has been two portacabins situated on Greenhill Way. Officers have held discussions on site with staff at the Lycée who are willing for us to use part of the site as a polling place. However they are unwilling for people to gain access to the site without first being checked in by a member of their security staff. There is potential for objections to be raised by voters and for queues to build up, particularly in the early evening when the majority of voters turn up to vote.     
.        Queen’s Park Ward: Polling Districts HQP3 and HQP5 - Ark Franklyn School (formerly Kensal Rise Primary) The Head Teacher has stated that she does not wish the school to be used as a polling station on the grounds of inconvenience for the running of the school. While the Returning Officer has the power to use any buildings maintained at public expense, including academy schools, consideration has been given to alternative venues. The loss of the school will however be significant in that, since Moberly Sports and Education Centre in Kilburn Lane became unavailable, the Ark Franklyn school serves 2 polling districts.
.      Kensal Rise Methodist Church on Chamberlayne Road. This venue is situated in an adjacent district (HQP1) and will confuse HQP1 voters many of whom will have to walk past it to their station at Manor School.
·      There is a similar objection to the hall at the Church of the Transfiguration at the corner of Chamberlayne Road and Wrentham Avenue
·      Co-use of Manor School with HQP1. However this will mean that there will be five polling stations in the school serving three polling districts. In the circumstances, Ark Franklyn school is the only really suitable venue for electors in this area that has been identified. Further discussion will be held with the Head Teacher and the outcome reported to the meeting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Alors. No pool at the Lycee? No poll at the Lycee. Is 'ow you say, tit pour tat, non?