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27th Jun, 2022

Residents left angry at proposed relocation of polling stations in Winyates

Ashleigh Osborne 11th Feb, 2022 Updated: 11th Feb, 2022

REDDITCH Borough council has come under fire from residents over an upcoming vote to decide to move the Winyates East and Winyates West polling stations.

Currently residents vote at Arrow Valley First School and Tenacres First School but under the new proposals, they would both be moved into the Winyates Centre.

Council officers have put forward The Space and The Link as replacement polling stations.

Winyates East resident Yvonne Smith said: “I think it is vital residents here have the opportunity to vote at the central location of Tenacres First School and not at Winyates Centre.

“The school is the at the heart of Winyates East, is well known and easy to reach for all of us.

“A move away from the school could stop the community voting.”

Ian Woodall, Labour’s prospective candidate for Winyates ward said: “The public have not been consulted on this and council officers clearly consider the matter a foregone conclusion.

“The report actually says the public will be asked their opinion on the move when they turn up there to vote in local elections on May 5.

“This is not how we should be running a democracy.”

Redditch Labour rejects these council officer recommendations and asks the authority to provide mobile voting facilities which are centrally located in Winyates East and Winyates West communities instead.

Redditch Borough Council does not have a definitive list of polling stations and says it will be published on the website as soon as it does.

Coun Mike Rouse, whose portfolio includes electoral matters said, “This administration does not believe it is right for a whole school to close for a day for voting reasons.

“We have in the past implemented portable buildings but these need to be considered carefully by the committee, and Labour voted against those measures in the past.

“The proper place to weigh these considerations is at the committee, and Labour does have representation here.

“I am staggered to see former Labour councillors and candidates taking to social media and the press to predetermine their position before any debate or discussion has even taken place.”

The electoral matters committee is set to discuss and vote on whether to move the Winyates East and Winyates West polling stations into the Winyates Centre at a meeting on Tuesday, February 15.

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