Licensing, Health and Safety and General Purposes Committee (Wirral Council) 23/1/2012 Part 3
Kate said they had visited the Masonic Hall this afternoon and it was a suitable venue. It cost £350 for hire. Surjit Tour talked about Between2Worlds. He said there were statutory purposes for polling stations and the front entrance at the Masonic Hall was unsuitable for disabled access. However there was no certainty for hire costs with Between2Worlds as it would have to be negotiated.
Cllr Ian Lewis commented. He understood the point made by Cllr Darren Dodd, his concern was that they were looking at maps whereas in practice it was the effect on votes. Wherever it moved, people wouldn’t vote as they’d go to the wrong polling station as it had previously been the YMCA. He said elderly people who had used the YMCA might not find out as not everyone was sent a polling card. He said his personal preference was to accept the Masonic Hall as opposed to the YMCA car park.
Cllr Patricia Glasman said he agreed with Cllr Ian Lewis on the whole, she also wanted the Masonic Lodge, however there was no provision for tellers.
Kate said that other polling stations that were entered directly had no provision and tellers could remain outside.
Cllr Bill Davies asked about the disabled access.
Kate said yes in answer to his question. There was a side exit at the Masonic Lodge used as a fire exit, unfortunately a ramp over the front steps was not practical.
Cllr Chris Jones asked about the past history of problems about using a Masonic Lodge as a polling station.
Cllr Bill Davies said he didn’t have the details in front of his, but to his recollection each time Masonic Lodges had been proposed as polling stations it had been turned down.
Cllr Ian Lewis said it would be nice if polling stations were suitable for tellers and wouldn’t inconvenience political activists. He still saw the Masonic Lodge as the least inconvenient.
Cllr Steve Niblock proposed, seconded by Cllr Chris Jones that the polling station for WE.
Cllr Sue Taylor proposed and Cllr Kate Wood seconded that the Masonic Lodge be used as the polling station for polling district WE.
There was a vote first on the amendment.
For: Cllrs Taylor, Wood, Lewis, Anderson and Glasman (5)
Against: Cllrs Davies, Williams, Niblock and Jones (4)
Abstention: None (0)
The amendment was carried by one vote (5:4:0).
The Chair said if possible because of the time scale, could they make a decision quickly on alternative polling stations?
Cllr Steve Niblock said there was a fall back of Between2Worlds, but he was happy if it was agreed by the party spokespersons.
Cllr Bill Davies said he wanted to advise the committee that with the timing of the local elections, if possible could it wait till March? Cllr Bill Davies proposed and Cllr Sue Taylor seconded that if alternative polling stations needed to be found that it would be agreed by the spokespersons.
This was agreed by the Committee.