Swaledale village set to lose polling station

Photo: Paul Downey.

A Swaledale village is set to lose its polling station amid a review of hundreds of polling districts and polling places across North Yorkshire  as part of a push to improve accessibility and access for voters.

Residents of Low Row currently vote in the village institute but the building does not have disabled access.

Instead, council officials are recommending that the venue is not used again and residents travel two miles to cast their vote at Gunnerside Village Hall.

North Yorkshire Council is consulting on its 888 districts and 569 places as part of a statutory process that is carried out at least once every five years.

The council has made draft recommendations for across the county, which would be used during voting in local and national elections.

To ensure that polling places are accessible to all, responses are particularly encouraged from anyone who finds it challenging to travel to or access their local polling place.

A number of more remote areas share a polling place, meaning multiple districts may use the same location for people to cast their vote.

The feedback and recommendations from the consultation will be shared with members for approval in December before the revised electoral register is published on February 1, 2024.

North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for corporate services, Cllr David Chance, said: “Ensuring everyone is able to take part in the democratic process is a requirement that we take very seriously.

“In a county as vast and as varied geographically, that can always present challenges and that is why we need to hear from people living in all our towns and villages.

“Your feedback is vital to ensuring that the polling places and districts meet the needs of all their users.”

To take part, people should visit www.northyorks.gov.uk/PollingPlacesReview, where a link to the survey will be available and the documents detailing the proposals can be read.

Paper copies and alternative formats such as braille, easy read and different languages are available upon request by emailing elections@northyorks.gov.uk or by calling the customer service centre on 0300 131 2131.

The closing date for responses is Monday, November 13.

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