Nov 7 2011 By Jenny Coombes
SEVERAL borough polling stations will be moved after councillors approved a series of changes, and some will disappear completely.
The polling stations to be axed are at Oak Farm Library in Sutton Court Road, Hillingdon; The Thomas Henry pub in Bourne Avenue, Hayes; and the Salvation Army Hall in Coldharbour Lane, Hayes. Voters will be allocated other stations nearby.
Other electoral districts will remain the same but new locations have been found for their polling stations. The council has a duty to carry out a review of polling districs to ensure they are in convenient and appropriate places for voters to travel to.
At a full council meeting last Thursday, some councillors raised concerns that the changes would lead to a fall in turnout at the next elections, as people in some areas might be forced to walk further.
Councillor Lynne Allen (Lab, Townfied) said: “The bottom line is people need to get out and vote.
"You will have elderly people who don’t want to postal vote. You’re going to make a hell of a lot of people think it’s too far to travel and they won’t vote.”
Labour leader Councillor Mo Khursheed (Botwell) said: “We’re not making it more convenient but making it more difficult for them. We’re asking voters to travel further.
"This will deter people from voting, especially older people.”
But Labour councillors were criticised by Conservative members for not voicing their concerns during the consultation period.