1 May 2010

Accessibility of polling stations

Councillors recently received an email from the charity Scope about the accessibility of polling stations. Scope, who many years ago I work for, found that thousands of disabled voters are denied the chance to play an equal part in our democracy.

Photo: Randwick Village Hall passes the test on accessibility and will be one of the polling stations in this ward on 6th May

At the last General Election Scope surveyed over 2,000 polling stations and found that 68% could be inaccessible to a disabled person.

I wrote to the Stroud and District Access Group and the Chief Executive at SDC as Stroud's details were not fully on Scope's campaign website - I was aware that Stroud had carried out a review of all polling stations as they are required to do but could not remember what stage that had got to. The Chief Exec gave a comprehensive response and the Stroud and District Access Group noted they were consulted in 2007. I learnt from them that Wotton Under Edge had a problem that was resolved by moving to a nearby skittle alley. They note this week that they have received no complaints since that date of any Polling Stations being inaccessible.

Please let me know if there are issues as I would be happy to take these forward.

A Cabinet report in January 2008 covered this issue - see here and at Council in February 2008 see here. You can also review accessibility for polling stations in your ward at www.pollsapart.org.uk - see Stroud polling stations here.

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