Wokingham Borough Council would like to hear from electors about proposed changes to polling places under the new ward boundary arrangements.
Anyone who is eligible to vote in Wokingham Borough can submit their views on the size and boundaries of polling districts and the location and suitability of parliamentary polling places.
Comments or representations are also welcomed from past or potential candidates, local parties and any person or body with expertise in access for disabled people.
The council has a duty to review the polling districts and polling places for all areas within the borough.
Earlier this year, an electoral boundary review was carried out, which resulted in new ward arrangements of 18, three-member wards. A new parliamentary constituency for Wokingham Borough, Earley and Woodley has also been created, alongside the existing parliamentary constituency of Wokingham.
As a result of this review, the council must now consider carefully where new polling districts are needed, where polling places are best situated within any new polling districts and that locations meet the needs of all residents.
The council is therefore conducting a four-week public consultation, which will start on Friday 20 October and end on Sunday 19 November. The majority of electors will be unaffected by the proposed changes as their polling place is intended to stay the same.
After the consultation period ends, responses will be made public on our Engage Wokingham Borough platform. A working group will also be formed in order to analyse the responses and for Full Council to consider recommendations when it meets on 18 January 2024 ahead of next year’s local elections in May.
Andrew Moulton, Returning Officer at Wokingham Borough Council, said: “Although most electors will not see their polling place change, there are a vast number of changes that have been introduced in recent times and it is important that we get this right to ensure all electors can exercise their democratic rights. It is therefore important to check the information for where you live and tell us if you think the polling place we have set out is suitable or not.”
A full review of polling places in the borough must be carried out every five years, with the last review undertaken in 2018.
Due to the changes implemented following the review by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England earlier this year, there are several wards that cut across existing town and parish boundaries.
To administer elections effectively, there needs to be separate polling districts for each town, parish and borough ward.
How you can take part
Visit our Engage Wokingham Borough website to view the consultation, access background information and take the short survey. Once you have identified your polling place, the survey should take no longer than five minutes to complete.
Detailed maps that show existing ward and polling districts, as well as current polling places, are available online.
Paper copies of the survey are available on request by contacting CEM@wokingham.gov.uk or calling (0118) 974 6000.