PARISHES across the Hambleton district of the Yorkshire Dales are being asked for their views on the proposed location of polling stations for upcoming elections.
The District Council - which is responsible for administering all district, parish, county, European and parliamentary elections - has just completed a major review of the 89 venues it has used in the past and looked at their location, facilities and disabled access. Of those, 78 have been approved for future use and council officers have worked with ward councillors to find other suitable locations.
All the changes mean most polling stations will have improved access for
Martyn Richards - Hambleton District Council
Electors who previously used Girsby Village Hall will now go to Great Smeaton; those who used Hackforth Village Hall will go to Crakehall Village Hall; Myton on Swale residents will vote in Helperby; Farlington electors will go to Stillington; Newby Village Hall will be replaced with Seamer Village Hall; Kirby Wiske villagers will go to Sandhutton; Kilburn and Oulston voters will travel to Coxwold; and Sutton under Whitestonecliffe parishioners will vote in Thirlby.
On top of these changes no alternative has been found in the Boltby, Felixkirk and Kirby Knowle parish so residents there will now use Thirlby Village Hall.
The house previously used at Thornton le Moor is not accessible for disabled people so voters will in future travel to neighbouring Thornton le Beans.
Romanby voters will use the Methodist Church Hall instead of the WI Hall.
Bagby Church Hall is to remain a polling station despite poor access as no suitable alternative is available and improvement work is expected on access to the building.
The review - which must be completed by the end of this year - is a requirement of the new Electoral Administration Act. Further reviews must take place every four years.
"All the changes mean most polling stations will have improved access for electors," said Hambleton's Head of Legal Services, Martyn Richards.
"In the past we have been using private houses, village halls and pubs as polling stations - many of which were not accessible for disabled people. This review puts that right - and as a result will also save the district council £2,200 on its election bill."
Any comments on the changes must be returned by March 30 to Peter Simpson, Chief Executive, Hambleton District Council, Civic Centre, Stone Cross, Northallerton, DL6 2UU.