AN overhaul of polling districts across Copeland has moved through to the next stage following the end of the first phase of consultation.

Councils are required by law to launch a review of polling districts and polling places every five years, with the acting returning officer for each constituency required to submit their own proposals.

The changes have now been voted through to the final stage of consultation with the revised proposal document, including maps and notes, due to be published next week.

Copeland is divided into 100 polling districts, with one or more of these making up a district ward, while a ‘polling place’ or station is the specific building where people go to vote.

The review will consider whether the position and size of a polling station is appropriate for the district as well as issues including disabled access.

The Electoral Review Panel met yesterday on Wednesday morning to review the recommendations and agree the revised proposals ahead of the final phrase of consultation.

All the representations received will also be published alongside a small number of alterations suggesting at the meeting.

The outline proposals:

Arlecdon and Ennerdale Ward (AE)

Recommendations to merge polling stations AE-1 and AE-3. This would see electors who previously voted in Kirkland Mission, Frizington, do so at Adams Memorial Hall, Arlecdon. Under the proposal AE-2 electors who previously voted at 24 Ashby Road, Workington, could also now go to Adams Memorial Hall.

Beckermet (B)

The search is on to find a new polling station within the Lowside Quarter, Braystones Ward boundary for B-2 voters who previously voted in the Beckermet Reading Rooms

Black Combe and Scafell (BSC)

Copeland Disability Forum will review the suitability of Corney Parish Hall following comments from an Inspector who said it had no disabled access.

Recommendation to merge polling districts BCS-5 and BCS-13, moving BCS-5 electors to St Bega’s Eskdale Village Hall which is closer for them. Investigations have shown that they were two separate polling districts due to previous ward boundaries. The new polling station would be re-named BCS-5

Recommendation to merge polling districts BCS-11 and BCS-12, renaming as BCS-11.

It has also been recommended that Stilecroft Village Hall is used as the primary polling station because of its central position, with a “respectable distance” for electors to travel.

Cleator Moor (CM)

A search is underway to find a second polling station for Cleator Moor North Ward (CM-3 ) to cope with the number of electors (1,793) and also because of the distance some voters have to travel to get to the Crossfield Community Centre.

Corkickle (CO)

Recommendation to merge polling districts CO-1 and CO-2 (Whitehaven Town Council and Corkickle North Ward) which have only been separate because of previous ward boundaries.

Distington, Lowca and Parton (DLP)

Officers are now looking for an alternative polling station to 51 Pica Cottages.

The Polling Station Inspector had said that Lowca Village Hall is in a “poor state” and that it was “hard for staff to keep warm”. Officers are now looking for alternatives.

Egremont (E)

Recommendations to merge polling stations E-1 and E-4 (Egremont South Ward), with the polling station to be based at The Meeting Place, Egremont.

Proposed merger of polling districts E-5 and E-6 with the new name of E-4. The proposed new E-4 polling station would be the Masonic Hall, Bookwell. This would mean St Mary’s Parish Centre would cease to be a polling station.

Gosforth and Seascale (GS)

Recommendation to merge polling stations GS-1 and G2-4 (Ponsonby). Both are in the same parish and vote at Calderbridge and Ponsonby Village Hall. The new name would be GS-1.

Recommendation to merge polling districts GS-3 and GS-9 (Wasdale). The current GS-9 polling station is in a different parish. The merged district would be named GS-3, with polling station based at the Old School Community Hall, Netherwasdale.

Hillcrest (H)

St James Community Centre is being reviewed to see if there are any polling stations closer, though presently there are no known alternatives.

A review of the Red Lonning Community Centre and Richmond Pensioners Social Club has sparked an officer recommendation to redraw the polling districts within the Whitehaven Town Council, Hillcrest ward, to allow electors to vote at the most suitable polling station.

Sneckyeat (S)

Copeland Disability Forum is conducting a survey on accessibility of Sneckyeat Community Hall in response to comments from the Polling Station Inspector.

Officers are also looking for an alternative to the polling station on Rutland Avenue

St Bees

It is proposed that SB-1 and SB-3 (Lower Quarter, Nethertown Ward) are merged, with voting taking place the Masonic Hall, Bookwell. Under the plans, the polling district would be re-named SB-1.

SB2 electors presently vote at Thornhill School Library which is in a different ward and parish.

Under the proposals, it could also be merged with the polling district SB-1.

Kells, Millom, Moor Row and Bigrigg, Moresby, Whitehaven Central, Whitehaven South