15th April 2021

May 2021 elections – where will your polling station be?

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May 2021 elections – where will your polling station be?

On May 6th, the UK is going back to the polls to elect a series of candidates into their positions for the next political cycle. The elections taking place will be:

Local council elections in England
Local and Combined Authority Mayoral elections
Mayor of London and London Assembly elections
Police and Crime Commissioner elections in England and Wales
Senedd Cymru/Welsh Parliamentary election
Scottish Parliamentary election

The organisation of these elections is going to present a few more problems than in previous years, the usual collection of schools, town and village halls, and other public places are not all going to be available this time around.
Covid-19 and the consequent restrictions have continually had an impact in places we never imagined, and the temporary use of public buildings for election purposes is a perfect example. Where previously switching uses of a building was a simple process, under pandemic conditions this is no longer the case, and the election commission must look further afield to accommodate our right to vote.

The geographic placing of polling stations is not a random matter; access for all is a fundamental element of our democracy, enshrined and protected by law. Returning Officers follow strict processes regarding the number and location of polling stations in every electoral district.

Therefore, if “School A” is no longer available due to Covid restrictions, and no other public building is close by then the number of options is severely limited.

Solutions
The use of temporary structures provides the simplest solution. These can take various forms:
• Marquees
• Modular buildings
• Portable cabins
Each has its advantages, but also some limitations:

Marquees

Advantages
• Fast installation
• Can be sited on almost any surface
• Available in any size
• Large number of suppliers throughout UK
Limitations
• Large variation in quality between suppliers

Modular Buildings

Advantages
• Available in any size
• Large number of suppliers throughout UK
Limitations
• Slower installation
• More suitable for long term use

Portable Cabins
Advantages
• Fast installation
• Can be sited on almost any surface
• Ready insulated
Limitations
• Availability may be limited (heavy current usage)

Fews have low cost temporary marquee structures, ready to install depending on your requirement, which offer the following features:

 

When My 6th comes around, we will discover the solutions our Returning Officers have decided to use. Let’s hope we can all exercise our democratic rights in a dry, safe environment.

 

 

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