Polling places review underway ahead of 2022 ward increase

Polling stations review happening in Havering

The council is undertaking a review of all Havering's polling stations ahead of changes to the borough's electoral wards next year. - Credit: Archant/LGBCE

A review of all polling places in Havering is to take place as the borough prepares to split into 20 wards next year.

As reported by the Recorder in May, two new wards - and one councillor - are to be introduced following a review by the Local Government Boundaries Commission for England (LGBCE).

The aim is to have each councillor representing an average of 3,795 electors.

These changes have brought about a review of the borough's polling places and stations ahead of the local elections next May. 

Havering Council has proposed 88 polling places, 86 of which have already been used as voting stations.

It includes 27 places which are either schools or nurseries - down 14 from previous years. 

This reduction is because the council wants to avoid using schools as much as possible, given the frequency with which elections clash with exams.

Under the finalised ward changes, Pettits, Havering Park, Romford Town and Brooklands will be absorbed into new wards.

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Romford Town will be split into two wards – St Alban’s and St Edward’s.

Electoral ward changes

The current Romford Town ward (left in blue) will be split next year into two wards - St Edward's and St Alban's (right in red). - Credit: LGBCE

South Hornchurch will be split into two wards – South Hornchurch and Beam Park.

Hacton and Emerson Park will go down to two councillors each.

Ward changes Havering

South Hornchurch ward (left in blue) will be split into multiple wards next year (right in red). - Credit: LGBCE

Though now finalised, the 18-month consultation which brought about the ward changes was dogged by controversy amid allegations of gerrymandering.

Last autumn, the Recorder revealed it had provoked more public responses than any other in England for at least two years.

The LGBCE responded by shelving certain proposals, including one which would have split Corbets Tey village in two and removed a seat in Elm Park.

Complaints also prompted a second consultation.

In terms of polling stations, the consultation will remain open until August 13.

Once concluded, LGBCE says the representations will be reviewed and adjustments made as necessary.

They must then be agreed by the governance committee and the council.

The electoral registration officer will make the official alterations when the list of polling places is revised on December 1. 

Submit your views before August 13 by emailing elections@havering.gov.uk.

Any comments should include, where appropriate, alternative venue suggestions that may be used as polling stations.

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