Examination of Witness

Part of Parliamentary Constituencies Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:00 pm on 23rd June 2020.

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Peter Stanyon:

Yes, certainly. The legislative background is that a local authority must subdivide every constituency in its area into polling districts, and then designate a polling place for polling stations. If there are changes to boundaries within a local authority area, they might not replicate the situation that is currently in place, so there would need to be a review of the provision to ensure that the newly defined constituencies and the building blocks within them are still applicable to the electorate at that stage.

We have just come to the conclusion of the statutory period for polling district review. The next one is due during the period between 1 October 2023 and 31 January 2025, when every single local authority must do this job. If a significant change to constituency boundaries meant that it was sensible to make those changes, there would be an additional layer to be done. Those same polling district boundaries are generally used for local government elections as well. It is about trying to get all the different layers of boundaries together so that the elector is, generally speaking, always going to the same polling station. If there is a combined poll, it is about getting the ballot papers for them in that particular station.