The Vale Council wants to scrap the Falcon Grove portacabin polling station at Lavernock . Local residents will have to cross the busy road to Cosmeston Country Park to cast their vote.
A controversial Vale of Glamorgan Council report which proposes to axe the portacabin polling station at Falcon Grove, Lavernock (and install a replacement polling station on the other side of the busy B4267 Lavernock Road at Cosmeston Country Park instead) is to be debated by the full council on Wednesday December 17th .
The plan to force electors to cross the heavily-trafficked road – on which there are no pedestrian crossings – to cast their ballots was reported by PDN on November 14 2014 (http://tinyurl.com/mxcqhj6)
The proposal to remove the Falcon Grove polling-station (on the western side of the road adjacent to local housing estates) and provide replacement polling facilities at Cosmeston Country Park’s Ranger’s Office instead, has already been criticised by community councillor Michael Garland.
Cllr Garland says “The decision shows a total disregard for Lavernock voters’ health and safety “ He says “To access the Country Park voters will have to put their lives at risk in attempting to cross the busy Lavernock Road with its speeding traffic and no pedestrian crossing.”
Cllr Garland also says the decision will ‘deter people from voting’ – especially in the hours of darkness “as they will have to negotiate their way through the unlit, tree-lined tracks and car park area of the Country Park to get to the polling station, notwithstanding the threat of being the victims of vehicular accidents, anti-social behaviour or other criminal offences in this area.”
Cllr Garland says the Lower Penarth Community Centre [ which is at the southern extremity of Plymouth Ward] is preferable location for Lavernock voters.
The Vale of Glamorgan’s council’s Returning Officer, Debbie Marles, says there were “two consultation exercises” about moving the Falcon Grove polling station to the Ranger Office at Cosmeston Country Park . She says “local equality groups were consulted and the proposed move was the subject of an equality impact assessment scoping exercise.”
VALE COUNCIL GETS PLYMOUTH WARD POLLING STATIONS WRONG
Three of the four wards of Penarth are Labour controlled – but Plymouth Ward is the largest
Cllr Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward)
Penarth Town Councillor Anthony Ernest (Conservative Plymouth Ward) has already castigated the Labour-run Vale Council’s septennial review of polling stations. ( See PDN http://tinyurl.com/ocsnvmq)
The Plymouth Ward is geographically the largest ward in Penarth but has only two polling stations (compared with ten across the other three wards of Penarth).
Cllr Ernest had told Penarth Town Council that many Plymouth Ward voters who were elderly and infirm were unable to make the “long and arduous trip to these existing stations, which are not accessible by public transport” – and that this effectively disenfranchises them. [PDN Note: Plymouth Ward is traditionally a Conservative-supporting Ward and all its councillors are Conservative]
In advance of Wednesday’s Vale Council meeting, its Head of Legal Services has now corrected an incorrect reference in the council’s official report which referred to “polling stations within the Plymouth Ward“ and said it should read “polling stations for the Plymouth Ward“.
The council has now acknowledged that All Saints Church Hall and Stanwell Road Baptist Church Schoolroom which it originally – and wrongly – claimed were within Plymouth Ward are , in fact, outside the Plymouth Ward but claims nevertheless that “this had been taken into account when arriving at the proposals”.
The council says Plymouth Ward voters can use these polling stations (even though they’re outside the ward ) and is not proposing to install a third polling station within the Plymouth Ward.
A detailed map of Plymouth Ward is on http://tinyurl.com/m6kz68a.