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.

Representations Received

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)

BFA (D)*

West Park Academy, Alderman Leach Drive, Darlington*  DL2 2GF 1 628

BFA (S)*

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

PEE**

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.