24th May, 2018

Worcestershire Labour leader calls for an end to schools being used as polling stations

THE LEADER of Worcestershire County Council Labour Party is calling for an end to schools being used as polling stations.

Coun Peter McDonald, who will be tabling a motion on the issue at the next county council meeting next Thursday (May 25), said schools being used as polling stations meant huge disruption for teachers, parents and pupils as schools were forced to become polling booths.

“Many parents will have to take a day off work, because their schools will be forced to close so they can be used as a polling station in the general election or elections in general.

“Children of course, are delighted that they get a day off school, but it’s a huge inconvenience for working parents.

“Effectively parents lose a day’s pay every election day which they can ill afford.

“Returning officers, employed by local authorities, are responsible for designating polling stations.

“Schools are attractive because they are free to hire and an attractive option to busy returning officers with a limited budget.

“There are surely other locations such as libraries, church halls and portable cabins.”

He said other authorities, including Cambridge City Council, made a point of not using schools.

“If Cambridge can do it then so can Worcestershire.”

We are awaiting comment from Worcestershire County Council.

* WHAT do you think? Should the county council stop schools being used as polling stations? Maybe you think because of the infrequency of elections, the situation is fine as it is. Email us your views to editor@droitwichstandard.co.uk

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