Have you given your views yet? That is the message from our Electoral Services Team as reviews on how local communities in Hertsmere are governed and the proposed changes of a number of our polling stations close next week.
The Community Governance Review examines whether arrangements at parish council level can be improved to better reflect local identities and serve communities more effectively.
Our Polling Station Review will help the council decide which polling districts and polling places – the building where people cast their vote – will be used in future elections to ensure those eligible to vote in the constituency have reasonable facilities for voting and, as far as possible, meet accessibility requirements.
Both consultations have been running for eight-weeks and the deadline to have your say is midnight on Friday 1 April 2022.
Councillor Morris Bright MBE, Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Communications, said: “Both reviews are concluding next week, so thank you to everyone who has already taken part.
“There is still time to have your say. The Community Governance Review and the proposals in the consultation offers the opportunity to ensure that parish arrangements meet local needs and are fit for purpose for the future. The review looks at a range of issues, including parish boundaries, numbers of parish councillors, grouping of parishes and warding.
“Parish councils have a wide range of important responsibilities, which can include parks, village greens, playing fields, allotments, local events and activities, Christmas lights, public clocks and war memorials. They can also have great influence on decisions taken elsewhere, for example, they are consulted by the local planning authority on every planning application in their area. Therefore it’s important you have your say on how you are represented.”
The Community Governance Review encompasses Aldenham Parish Council, Ridge Parish Council, Shenley Parish Council and South Mimms Parish Council. Any changes proposed would follow reflection on the responses to this latest public consultation – including with parish councils – and a decision by full council.
The polling station review focusses on eight polling places within Hertsmere that had a polling station change during the May 2021 elections. Changes to the polling stations were as a result of COVID-19 regulations at the time.
We currently use around 50 different locations across the borough as polling stations, including village and church halls, schools and community centres.
Sam Langford, Hertsmere Borough Council's Electoral Services Manager, said: "To ensure our polling stations are open and accessible to all, we want to hear residents view on how they found the new polling station during the last election.
"Obviously there is no such thing as a purpose-built polling station and we have to adapt and make use of a large number of different venues, which are made available to us. However, we want to do all we can to ensure accessibility issues have been fully considered, as well as location and safety.”
The consultation focusses on particular polling places in Bushey North, Bushey St James, Bushey Park, Borehamwood Brookmeadow, Borehamwood Cowley Hill, and Shenley wards.
Find out more or comment on the Community Governance Review and Polling Station Review.
If you do not have access to the internet, paper copies of the consultation can also be obtained on request by calling Electoral Services on 020 8207 7481 or email CGR@hertsmere.gov.uk or PSR@hertsmere.gov.uk
There are no elections scheduled to take place in Hertsmere during 2022. Any changes will be in place for Hertsmere Borough Council's whole council elections in 2023.
Posted on Wednesday 23rd March 2022