Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations Review 2018
Why are we reviewing our Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations?
Councils are required by law to review their Polling Districts and Polling Places every four years.
As the last review in Darlington was completed in 2014, a review is now due, and will take place in advance of the Local Government (Borough) Elections in May 2019.
What are Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations?
Polling Districts are the geographical areas into which Council Wards are divided.
Polling Places are the locations or buildings in which Polling Stations are situated. When deciding which buildings to use as Polling Places, the Council strives to ensure that they are located as conveniently as possible within the Polling District, and that they are accessible to everyone, particularly anyone who is disabled.
A Polling Station is the room or area within the Polling Place where voting takes place.
How long will the review take?
The review is scheduled to last eight weeks, and commenced on Monday, 1 October 2018.
From Monday, 1 October 2018 until Sunday, 14 October 2018, we invited views on our initial proposals for Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations. We solicited views and representations from community groups, organisations, head teachers, elected representatives, and from any person or body with expertise in access for people with any type of disability. We also encouraged anyone entitled to vote in Darlington to make representations, and to advise us of any issues with current Polling Stations, and provide suggestions for alternative venues.
During our initial consultation exercise, we received three representations regarding our Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations. Taking these representations into consideration, we reviewed our findings between Monday, 15 October 2018 and Friday, 19 October 2018, and revised our draft proposals. We also gave consideration to the recommendations contained within the Parliamentary Boundary Review 2018.
Representation 1: Hurworth Primary School (Polling District HUB) - The decision to close any school used as a Polling Place is made solely by the Head Teacher of that school, and not the Returning Officer, Electoral Registration Officer, or the Council. The Council does, however, appreciate that the closure of any school causes huge disruption to staff, parents and children alike, and therefore only seeks to use a school where it is the best, or only, solution within a Polling District. The Representation of the People Act 1983 allows the Returning Officer to use schools and public rooms, free of charge, for the purposes of taking the poll. This does not necessarily mean that a school must close, and the Elections Team have worked closely with schools across the Borough in an attempt to keep many schools fully, or partially, open, where suitable safeguarding arrangements can be implemented.
Guidance received from the Department for Education states: “Schools which need to close as a result of being used as Polling Stations can move to alternative accommodation or make up the lost day by other means. The lost day could be made up at the beginning or end of a term, or a training day could be arranged on the day of the poll if the head teacher or governors so wish."
As the school remains central to the main residential area with the Polling District, and as no further suitable venues within the Polling District have been identified, we are continuing to propose that Hurworth Primary School serve as the Polling Place in Polling District HUB.
Representation 2: St. Thomas Aquinas Church Hall, North Road, Darlington (Polling District NRA) - Ridgeway is situated within the North Road Ward, whereas the proposed Longfield Academy is situated in the Harrowgate Hill Ward. Longfield Academy is not currently used as a Polling Place within the Harrowgate Hill Ward (D.S.R.M. Social Club, Longfield Road, Darlington is used as the Polling Place to serve Polling District HHC), and therefore use of the school would, potentially, mean closing another school to enable the Poll to take place. There are no public transport links to the Polling Station via the most direct route of Thompson Street West, however buses do run the length of Longfield Road, and subsequently down North Road, which would provide electors with access the Polling Station via public transport. We are therefore continuing to propose that St. Thomas Aquinas Church Hall serve as the Polling Place in Polling District NRA.
Representation 3: St. Teresa's R. C. Primary School, Harris Street, Darlington (Polling District EAA) - Further to the representation received from St. Teresa's R. C. Primary School, Officers visited Geneva Road Evangelical Baptist Church on Thursday, 18 October 2018, with a view to using the venue as a Polling Place. The building complied with all the requirements of a Polling Place outlined within Electoral Commission guidance, and is situated within the Polling District, and therefore it is proposed that the Polling Place in Polling District EAA be moved from St. Teresa's R. C. Primary School to Geneva Road Evangelical Baptist Church.
The Returning Officer's submission identifies where within a Polling Place the Polling Station is situated.
A further consultation period on our final draft proposals took place from Monday, 22 October 2018 until Sunday, 4 November 2018, and we received one further representation regarding our Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations.
Further Representations Received
Representation 4: St. Thomas Aquinas Church Hall, North Road, Darlington (Polling District NRA) - A representation was received from a resident of the Ridgeway, who proposed that St. George’s Bridge Centre on Whessoe Road be used as a Polling Place to serve Polling District NRA, as opposed to St. Thomas Aquinas Church Hall. An external inspection of the premises revealed adequate car parking and what appeared to be suitable external lighting, however a representative from the St. George’s Bridge Centre subsequently informed Officers that the premises were in use every Thursday, and that the Returning Officer would therefore be unable to use the premises on Polling Days. We are therefore continuing to propose that St. Thomas Aquinas Church Hall serve as the Polling Place in Polling District NRA.
The consultation period has now ended and a final report reflecting our proposals, and the representations received, will be drafted for consideration by the Council on Thursday, 29 November 2018.
Proposed Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations
|Polling District||Polling Place Address||Post Code||Polling Station Number||Polling Station Voters (as at September 2018)|
|West Park Academy, Alderman Leach Drive, Darlington*||DL2 2GF||1||628|
|West Park Academy, Alderman Leach Drive, Darlington*||DL2 2GF||2||14|
|BFB||West Park Academy, Alderman Leach Drive, Darlington||DL2 2GF||3||1236|
|BFC||Darlington Railway Athletic Club (Snooker Room), Brinkburn Road, Darlington||DL3 9LF||4||1880|
|BLA||King William Street Community Centre, King William Street, Darlington||DL1 4YS||5||874|
|BLB||Rydal Academy, Rydal Road, Darlington||DL1 4BH||6||1430|
|BLC||Rydal Academy, Rydal Road, Darlington||DL1 4BH||7||1224|
|BLD||St. John’s Church of England Academy, Fenby Avenue, Darlington||DL1 4UB||8||813|
|CKA||Holy Family R. C. Primary School, Prior Street, Darlington||DL3 9EN||9||1693|
|CKB||‘Little Learners’, Mount Pleasant Primary School, Newton Lane, Darlington||DL3 9HE||10||1249|
|CKC||The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Eggleston View, Darlington||DL3 9SH||11||960|
|COA||Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College, Vane Terrace, Darlington||DL3 7AU||12||1094|
|COB, COC||Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College, Vane Terrace, Darlington||DL3 7AU||13||1521|
|EAA||Geneva Road Evangelical Baptist Church, Geneva Road Darlington||DL1 4HS||14||871|
|EAB||Firthmoor Community Centre, Burnside Road, Darlington||DL1 4SU||15||1954|
|EAC||Pilmoor Green Community Centre, West Moor Road, Darlington||DL1 4LN||16||1398|
|HCA||Heighington Village Hall, Heighington||DL5 6QX||17||1500|
|HCB, HCE, HCF||Walworth Castle Hotel, Walworth||DL2 2LY||18||160|
|HCC, HCD||Summerhouse Village Hall, Summerhouse||DL2 3UD||19||109|
|HCG||St. Mary’s Church, The Green, Piercebridge||DL2 3SH||20||87|
|HCH, HCI||High Coniscliffe Church Hall, The Green, High Coniscliffe||DL2 2LR||21||580|
|HCJ, HCK||Whessoe Village Hall, Harrowgate Village, Darlington||DL1 3AA||22||207|
|HCL||Brafferton Village Hall, Brafferton||DL1 3LB||23||100|
|HHA||Whessoe Village Hall, Harrowgate Village, Darlington||DL1 3AA||24||670|
|HHB||Harrowgate Hill Working Men’s Club, Salters Lane North, Darlington||DL1 3DT||25||2147|
|HHC||D.S.R.M. Social Club, Longfield Road, Darlington||DL3 0HX||26||1102|
|HKA||Carmel College, The Headlands, Darlington||DL3 8RW||27||819|
|HKB||Carmel College, The Headlands, Darlington||DL3 8RW||28||1320|
|HSA||Haughton Children’s Centre, Salters Lane South, Darlington||DL1 2AN||29||1472|
|HSB||Haughton Children’s Centre, Salters Lane South, Darlington||DL1 2AN||30||1036|
|HSC||St. Anne’s Church Hall, Welbeck Avenue, Darlington||DL1 2DR||31||1410|
|HUA||Linden Court, Linden Drive, Hurworth Place||DL2 2DL||32||736|
|HUB||Hurworth Primary School, Westfield Drive, Hurworth||DL2 2ET||33||1232|
|HUC, HUD, HUE||The Reading Room, Neasham, Darlington||DL2 1PH||34||339|
|MOA||Mowden Junior School (Staff Room), Federation of Mowden Schools, Conyers Avenue, Darlington||DL3 9QG||35||987|
|MOB||Mowden Junior School (Staff Room), Federation of Mowden Schools, Conyers Avenue, Darlington||DL3 9QG||36||1336|
|NGA, NGB||Corporation Road Community Primary School, Corporation Road, Darlington||DL3 6AR||37||2016|
|NGC||Borough Road Nursery School, Borough Road, Darlington||DL1 1SG||38||313|
|NRA||St. Thomas Aquinas Church Hall, North Road, Darlington||DL1 2PU||39||965|
|NRB||Rise Carr College, Eldon Street, Darlington||DL3 0NS||40||1100|
|NRC, NRD||Northwood Primary School, Pendleton Road South, Darlington||DL1 2HF||41||1656|
|PEA||St. Augustine’s Parish Centre, Larchfield Street, Darlington||DL3 7TF||42||542|
|PEB||Borough Road Nursery School, Borough Road, Darlington||DL1 1SG||43||478|
|PEC||St. Columba’s Church and the Clifton Centre, Clifton Avenue, Darlington||DL1 5EE||44||1585|
|PED||The Coleridge Centre, Coleridge Gardens, Darlington||DL1 5AJ||45||1502|
|Skerne Park Youth and Community Centre, Coleridge Gardens, Darlington**||DL1 5AP||46||168|
|PIA||Willow Road Community Centre, Willow Road, Darlington||DL3 6PZ||47||1132|
|PIB||Willow Road Community Centre, Willow Road, Darlington||DL3 6PZ||48||966|
|PIC, PID||Reid Street Primary School, Reid Street, Darlington||DL3 6EX||49||1498|
|PWA, PWB||All Saint’s Millennium Centre, Ravensdale Road, Darlington||DL3 8DT||50||1560|
|PWC||St. Augustine’s Parish Centre, Larchfield Street, Darlington||DL3 7TF||51||1116|
|RLA||Red Hall Community Centre, Headingley Crescent, Darlington||DL1 2ST||52||782|
|RLB||St. Herbert’s Church Hall, Yarm Road, Darlington||DL1 1BD||53||1760|
|SMA, SMC||Great Stainton Church Hall, Glebe Road, Great Stainton||TS21 1NB||54||111|
|SMB||Bishopton Village Hall, Church View, Bishopton||TS21 1HB||55||261|
|SMD, SMF||Sadberge Village Hall, Sadberge||DL2 1SB||56||488|
|SME, SMG, SMH||St. Anne’s Church Hall, Welbeck Avenue, Darlington||DL1 2DR||57||119|
|SMI||Middleton St. George Women’s Institute Hall, Neasham Road, Middleton St. George, Darlington||DL2 1LD||58||422|
|SMJ||Middleton St. George Women’s Institute Hall, Neasham Road, Middleton St. George, Darlington||DL2 1LD||59||2254|
|STA||St. James the Great Church Hall, Barton Street, Darlington, (Entrance on Grey Street)||DL1 2LD||60||884|
|STB||Eastbourne Sports Complex, Bourne Avenue (off Hundens Lane), Darlington||DL1 1LJ||61||1543|
|WHA||Whinfield Primary School, Augusta Close, Darlington||DL1 3HT||62||1574|
|WHB||Whinfield Primary School, Augusta Close, Darlington||DL1 3HT||63||839|
* Should the recommendations contained within the Parliamentary Boundary Review 2018 be enacted we would seek to combine the Polling Districts BFA(D) and BFA(S), and have one Polling Station for this Polling District in West Park Academy, Alderman Leach Drive, Darlington, DL2 2GF.
** Should the recommendations contained within the Parliamentary Boundary Review 2018 be enacted we would seek to move the Polling Station for Polling District PEE into a new Polling Place at The Coleridge Centre, Coleridge Gardens, Darlington, DL1 5AP.